This blog is headquarters for a campaign to abolish research ethics review.
Ethics review is a system that requires researchers to obtain permission from a specific board before beginning research that involves people, including medical or psychological research; it also includes other fields including, in some universities, journalism and the humanities. I exclude research by pharmaceutical companies, which raises different questions.
This system was begun with good intentions and is staffed by well-meaning people. However, it is structurally flawed and cannot be reformed. It must be replaced.
This blog welcomes all who want to learn more about this destructive system. It provides news and information about the people and policies involved in the struggle over ethics review and serves as a clearinghouse of ideas for students, scholars, and all others who want to help science and scholarship better serve the public welfare.
Is this radical?
Governmental power should be used in ways that produce benefits that justify their costs. If that idea is radical, then this blog is radical.
This campaign is informal.
Its leaders have no steering committee and no articles of incorporation. We have no institutional support, and certainly no funding. We come from different countries and have varied backgrounds; we have signed no manifesto, sworn to no orthodoxy, and we disagree with each other on a variety of points.
But we all agree that the ethics review system has failed and that the public needs to be informed of its failure.
- To explain how ethics review came into being, how it went wrong, why it should be abolished, and what should replace it.
- To recruit scholars and scientists to add their experience to our storehouse of knowledge.
- To educate the public about a well-intentioned but failed system of regulating research.
- To show that research subjects should be protected far more simply than by the current system of review.
- To eliminate ethics review and replace it with that simpler system.
Simon N. Whitney, MD, JD