Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CU-Boulder Retracts IRB Claim

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Mark Miller, the University of Colorado at Boulder spokesman who had earlier suggested that professors should consult the IRB before teaching controversial subjects, has retracted that suggestion.

[Peter Schmidt, “U. of Colorado’s Response to a Gritty Lecture Worries Sociologists,” Chronicle of Higher Education, December 17, 2013. http://chronicle.com/article/U-of-Colorados-Response-to-a/143653/. (gated)]

Monday, December 16, 2013

CU-Boulder Tells Faculty to Consult IRB Before Teaching

A spokesman for the University of Colorado at Boulder has recommended that university faculty consult the IRB before teaching.

The comment concerns sociology professor Patti Adler's announcement that she plans to retire early rather than risk being fired for classroom teaching that might make students uncomfortable.

[Scott Jaschik, “Tenured Professor at Boulder Says She Is Being Forced out over Lecture on Prostitution," Inside Higher Ed, December 16, 2013. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/12/16/tenured-professor-boulder-says-she-being-forced-out-over-lecture-prostitution.]

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Emmerich on Schrag, Stark, and van den Hoonaard

Nathan Emmerich of Queen's University, UK, reviews Ethical Imperialism, Behind Closed Doors, and The Seduction of Ethics for Research Ethics.

[Emmerich, Nathan. “Between the Accountable and the Auditable: Ethics and Ethical Governance in the Social Sciences.” Research Ethics 9, no. 4 (December 2013): 175–186. doi:10.1177/1747016113510654.]

Emmerich is particularly frustrated by the lack of accountability of research ethics committees:

"The review process renders research accountable whilst, at the same time, erasing any trace of its own accountability (Stark: 73) or, we might say, its own status as an ethical endeavour . . .

"How systems of governance should themselves be held responsible − to researchers, to research participants, and to society as a whole − remains uninterrogated by applied ethical thinking."