Ethical Pluralism

Published: “Ethical Pluralism: Scholarly Societies and the Regulation of Research Ethics,” in The Ethics Rupture: Exploring Alternatives to Formal Research-Ethics Review, edited by Will C. van den Hoonaard and Ann Hamilton. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.

9781442648326

Will the Federal Government Finally Deregulate Oral History?

Published:

“Will the Federal Government Finally Deregulate Oral History?,” American Historian, November 2015, 20-22.

On September 8, 2015, sixteen federal departments and agencies jointly released a notice of proposed rulemaking that would amend the federal regulations (known as the Common Rule) that govern IRBs. Among many other reforms the new rules would, the notice explains, “explicitly exclude oral history, journalism, biography, and historical scholar- ship activities that focus directly on the specific individuals about whom the information . . . is collected.” If enacted as written, the proposal would resolve the longstanding acrimony between IRBs and historians.

You Can’t Ask That

Published: “You Can’t Ask That.” Washington Monthly, September/October 2014

Enacted a generation ago in response to real abuses by some notorious medical researchers, so-called institutional review boards have morphed into entities that are stifling and distorting important research throughout academia.

I Review Stark, Behind Closed Doors

Cross-posted from Institutional Review Blog:

The American Journal of Sociology has published my review of Laura Stark’s Behind Closed Doors. I describe it as an “illuminating account of how ethics review really works,” but note that “Stark’s reluctance to condemn [IRB] behavior sets her apart from other observers of IRBs in action” and that it is “a stretch for Stark to claim that today’s IRBs use ‘a decision-making model that stabilized in the 1950s and 1960s.'”

[Zachary M. Schrag, Review of Behind Closed Doors: IRBs and the Making of Ethical Research by Laura Stark. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012. Pp. Viii+229. $85.00 (cloth); $27.50 (paper).” American Journal of Sociology 118, no. 2 (September 2012): 494–496. www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/664671]

For my comments on Stark’s dissertation, on which the book is based, see “How IRBs Decide–Badly: A Comment on Laura Stark’s ‘Morality in Science.’

Kojo Nnamdi Show: “Rethinking the “Common Rule”

On November 21 I had the pleasure of joining Jerry Menikoff of OHRP and Kathy Hudson of NIH on an episode of the Kojo Nnamdi Show entitled, “Rethinking the “Common Rule”: The Ethics of Research with Human Subjects.” We received many thoughtful, informed comments and questions.