Title: Trust, Conflict, and Engagement in Occupational Health: North American Epidemiologists Conduct Occupational Study in Communities Affected by Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Origin (CKDu).
Authors: Scammell, Madeleine K
Published In Curr Environ Health Rep, (2019 12)
Abstract: Science has been used as a tool of colonialism, and aspects of science privilege researchers in the global North (USA and Europe). The environmental justice and worker health movements in the USA and globally have influenced aspects of how occupational and environmental health research is conceived and conducted so that it is more equitable. This review provides a case example of research in the area of chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu).In the present work, the author describes aspects of community-based participatory research and anti-colonial research that influence a current occupational epidemiology study of CKDu in Mesoamerica among workers in agriculture and non-agricultural industries. The research includes investigators from numerous countries in the global North and South and funding from the US government and corporations. The role of industry in science and the misuse of science by corporate interests remain substantial threats to research integrity. The ability of researchers to navigate potentially conflicting interests with industry and workers, and establish trust within and outside the scientific community, is essential for sustained engagement in longitudinal studies. Trust is about human relationships. It takes time and effort to build and is essential for creating equitable, empowering research relationships.
PubMed ID: 31630378
MeSH Terms: Agriculture; Community-Based Participatory Research/ethics; Conflict of Interest*; Epidemiologists/ethics; Epidemiologists/psychology*; Humans; Industry; North America; Occupational Health/ethics; Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/etiology; Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/psychology*; Stakeholder Participation/psychology*; Trust/psychology*