Ethical issues in research

by Sofia

ethics and legality can work to maintain the status quo

  • Humphrey’s tearoom trade study: researcher duped police and deceived participants, who didn’t even know they were being studied (no consent). yet this study shed light on something that would have been impossible to study otherwise.
  • legal rules and ethical principles of informed consent do not allow for research in certain areas or of certain topics, such as when the subject is illegal or stigmatized
  • abuse of power by police or institutions would not allow one to study this, thus legal matters can serve to hide violations that deserve to be studied and exposed

I believe that research is most valuable when it ventures into unstudied territory. this will likely imply controversial or outright unethical methods. but we must decide what is less ethical: shedding light on corrupt or covert individuals by publishing an incriminating study that violates consent, or society at large for not doing so.

And unrelatedly, a possible future employer: Canadian Institutes of Health Research