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Public trust and global biobank networks


Dive, L and Critchley, C and Otlowski, M and Mason, P and Wiersma, M and Light, E and Stewart, C and Kerridge, I and Lipworth, W, Public trust and global biobank networks, BMC Medical Ethics, 21 Article 73. ISSN 1472-6939 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, (

DOI: doi:10.1186/s12910-020-00515-0


Background: Biobanks provide an important foundation for genomic and personalised medicine. In order to enhance their scientific power and scope, they are increasingly becoming part of national or international networks. Public trust is essential in fostering public engagement, encouraging donation to, and facilitating public funding for biobanks. Globalisation and networking of biobanking may challenge this trust.

Methods: We report the results of an Australian study examining public attitudes to the networking and globalisation of biobanks. The study used quantitative and qualitative methods in conjunction with bioethical analysis in order to determine factors that may contribute to, and threaten, trust.

Results: Our results indicate a generally high level of trust in biobanks and in medical research more broadly. Key factors that can reduce perceived trustworthiness of biobanks are commercialisation and involvement in global networking.

Conclusions: We conclude that robust ethical oversight and governance standards can both promote trust in global biobanking and ensure that this trust is warranted.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biobanks, trust, globalisation, commercialisation
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Applied ethics
Research Field:Bioethics
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:Design
UTAS Author:Critchley, C (Associate Professor Christine Critchley)
UTAS Author:Otlowski, M (Professor Margaret Otlowski)
ID Code:143361
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1029929)
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2021-03-13
Last Modified:2021-04-21
Downloads:20 View Download Statistics

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