IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/policy/v38y2005i4p269-291.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Science ethics as a bureaucratic problem: IRBs, Rules, and Failures of control

Author

Listed:
  • Barry Bozeman

    ()

  • Paul Hirsch

Abstract

“Institutionalized science ethicsâ€\x9D refers to the statutory, professional and institution-based ethical standards that guide and constrain scientists' research work. The primary institution responsible for implementing institutionalized science ethics is the Institutional Review Board. We examine the limitations of IRBs and institutionalized science ethics, using bureaucratic theory and, especially, theory related to the development and enactment of rules. We suggest that due to the very character of rules-based systems, improvements in IRB outcomes are unlikely to be achieved through either more or better rules or even by bureaucratic reform. Instead, we suggest that improvements in human subject protection can best be advanced through increased participation. Ours is not a call for more participation by the general public but participation, via “Participant Review Boardsâ€\x9D of persons who are eligible, by the protocols of the research in question, to serve as subjects. This provides a level of legitimacy and face validity that cannot be obtained by IRB affiliates, even by “external representatives.â€\x9D In making these points, we review a recent science ethics controversy, the KKI/Johns Hopkins lead paint study. In spite of being approved by IRBs, the study resulted in a civil lawsuit that reached the Maryland Court of Appeals. The case illustrates the limits of institutionalized science ethics and the bureaucracies created for their enactment. The case also underscores the complex and equivocal nature of the ethical guidelines established under the National Research Act. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Barry Bozeman & Paul Hirsch, 2005. "Science ethics as a bureaucratic problem: IRBs, Rules, and Failures of control," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 38(4), pages 269-291, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:38:y:2005:i:4:p:269-291
    DOI: 10.1007/s11077-006-9010-y
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11077-006-9010-y
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Patrick G. Scott & Sanjay K. Pandey, 2000. "The influence of red tape on bureaucratic behavior: An experimental simulation," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 615-633.
    2. Howard-Jones, Norman, 1982. "Human experimentation in historical and ethical perspectives," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 16(15), pages 1429-1448, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:38:y:2005:i:4:p:269-291. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.