Research Ethics Governance and Political Science in Canada Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Research
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • The governance of research ethics in Canada, including its research ethics boards (REBs), which correspond to the institutional review boards in the U.S., often is portrayed as an exemplary model of cross-disciplinary cooperation and consultation that is altruistically striving to protect research subjects from abuses in biomedical, social sciences, and humanities research. While there is indeed a great deal of altruism and good intention among those involved in this governance, power and interests also play a role that is of particular concern for political scientists. Governance arrangements have been driven by biomedical research, which is vastly better funded than social sciences and humanities (SSH) research. These arrangements have been imposed on the SSH research community with little sensitivity to the distinctive problems of SSH research, despite concerns about such problems that political scientists and other SSH researchers have expressed for a decade. A recent proposal initiated by major research funders to dramatically strengthen research ethics governance has generated even more alarm.

publication date

  • July 2008