Aside from being first to formally call for discussions on ethics in epidemiology in 1985, Dr. Soskolne's work has been pioneering, with international ramifications for the development of the profession. Included in such developments is the very nature of the social relevance of the line of inquiry pursued by epidemiologists worldwide.
Epidemiological Research, Interest Groups, and the Review Process
Epidemiology: Questions of Science, Ethics, Morality, and Law
In particular, Dr. Soskolne drew concern to the problem of illegal transport in hazardous wastes.
International transport of hazardous waste: legal and illegal trade in the context of professional ethics
He co-authored the first edition and the then only text worldwide that provides case studies for training programs in public health ethics.
Case Studies in Public Health Ethics
Most recently, he contributed to the ethics casebook, released on February 22, 2013, by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, entitled Population and Public Health Ethics: Cases from Research, Policy and Practice
. The casebook is accessible on the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics website, at www.utoronto.ca/jcb
Colin was instrumental in advocating, on the part of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), for the European Union not to make access to data impossible for research in the public health interest.
Population Health Research Wins "Reprieve" in Europe
He drew attention to conflicting interests and the influence of misconduct in public health sciences through his contribution of book chapters.
He remains a global leader in providing ethics guidelines for environmental epidemiologists. These guidelines were, in 1999, adopted by the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) and were revised in 2010 – 2011, and approved in April, 2012
Dr. Soskolne participated in work that continues to draw attention to the broader social consequences (including environmental degradation) associated with the approach of the various reductionist sciences.
He introduced the utility of case studies as a means toward helping epidemiologists understand the essence of ethical conduct in their pursuit of the public health interest.
He jointly introduced the need to formally integrate ethics into the professions in the interests of global ecological integrity.
In 2003, in Science and Engineering Ethics, Soskolne and Sieswerda published a paper entitled: Implementing Ethics in the Professions: Examples from Environmental Epidemiology
. This paper provides a model framework for infusing ethics into all dimensions of professional activity. It also describes the method developed by Soskolne in 1996 for integrating ethics discussions into grassroots oral sessions at conferences of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE).
Colin speaks globally on the topic of integrating professional ethics and scientific integrity into professional life.