Friday, April 27, 2007

Alternative IRB Models Conference Ignores Behavioral and Social Research

The Association of American Medical Colleges has posted the report of the November 2006 "National Conference on Alternative IRB Models." The 53-page report's findings concerning social and behavioral research consist of a single sentence: "Finally, participants observed that social and behavioral research has not been widely discussed during this conference and deserves further exploration."

This is probably not much of a loss, since the various alternatives studied at the conference appear irrelevant to social and behavioral research. But the comment does continue a long tradition of promises that the methods, ethics, and needs of social scientists will get the attention they deserve . . . someday.

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