This is concerned with the vexed matter of ethics and the impact of ethics committees.  I argue that a latent consequence of the deliberations of ethics committees is that they change the design and behaviour of researchers in a range of ways.  I have labelled this as "ethical determinism" and propose that there are at least five variants to this phenomenon.  Click here to access the thinking I've sketched out so far.

In a paper currently being prepared by Jo Perry and myself with assistance from Manukau Institute of technology, we are proposing that Dr Tony English's Tension Concept is very useful indeed in understanding the ways in which ethics are dealt with, often in very unsatisfactory ways.   We believe that there is a need to develop 'win-win' situations between ethics committees and researchers and for that reason, we want to explore some possible common-sense strategies that could be trialed.  A preliminary phase of our current project involved the development of a (refereed) presentation for the most recent NZARE conference that was held in Auckland in December, 2010.  Anyone wishing to access the slide show we developed, can access the PDF version of our work by clicking here

By way of comment, we want to tell you that we have planned to seek funding for a somewhat more comprehensive study and in completing that investigation, we want to consider instances where ethical considerations have gone awry; we want to probe the consequences of such outcomes.  Please note that there is also a blog with this 'paper' and please also note that readers are once again free to use the material provided that they follow normal academic courtesies when they reference the materials.