Toulouse: the third TAPAS training event

2 minute read


Before Interspeech, we had a quick opportunity to showcase our results so far, and talk about data management and research ethics.

Ethics is always a not so interesting topic unfortunately – my impression was however, that there were three recurring themes of the presentations’, which might worth a quick read for somebody not willing to sit a series of these presentation. The presentations are not online yet to do that, but meanwhile, you can catch up on the recordings of the previous event here

So, I will summarise these here and add a few comments on some aspects of the training event.

The regulatory view

GDPR is here and we do have to conform to it. Fortunately, my impression was that as a researcher we rarely have to handle the regulatory aspects on our own. For example, in the hospital I’m working these are given as expectations, and incorporated to the ICT’s working mechanisms. All we have to ensure is that we conform to some level of common sense, inform the owners’ of the data about how their data are processed and request consent.

Competitive research vs. being able to live with our research

There are some countries which are attractive for researchers, because the ethical standards of the country are less sensitive to certain issues. This enables faster development of research, due to lesser administrative burden. As a researcher, I am personally frustrated with the administrative burden of these ethical considerations, and the total manhours we are spending on this. Still, at the end of the day I don’t want my data to be mishandled, my DNA or blood type lying around in the internet.

There are certain practices which are entirely legal, but as a company or a researcher, you have a brand to manage. If your brand is damaged by something that is legal, but unethical, or controversial, you are in a problematic situation. You will have potentially dropped sales or less opportunities.

Myself in Toulouse. Thank you Wei Xue for the photo.

If you are in Toulouse…

Make sure to try the vegetarian restaurant Le Faim des Haricots, we have eaten there two times during our short stay in Toulouse. I am personally neither vegetarian nor vegan, but I enjoy vegetarian food, and this was a really good deal buffet restaurant. I really enjoyed the time in Toulouse, though not all presentations were interesting, I had some really thought-provoking and inspiring conversations during the week.