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The governance of ethically acceptable research in higher education institutions has been under scrutiny over the past half a century. Concomitantly, recently, decision makers have required researchers to acknowledge the societal impact of their research, as well as anticipate and respond to ethical dimensions of this societal impact through responsible research and innovation principles. Using artificial intelligence population health research in the United Kingdom and Canada as a case study, we combine a mapping study of journal publications with 18 interviews with researchers to explore how the ethical dimensions associated with this societal impact are incorporated into research agendas. Researchers separated the ethical responsibility of their research with its societal impact. We discuss the implications for both researchers and actors across the Ethics Ecosystem.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of empirical research on human research ethics : JERHRE

Publication Date





325 - 337


Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, 4616King's College London, London, UK.


Humans, Ecosystem, Ethics, Research, Artificial Intelligence, Research Personnel, United Kingdom