Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is It Ethical For Scientists To Do Research Abroad That Would Be Forbidden At Home?

Date:
February 27, 2007
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Is it ethical for scientists to conduct or benefit from research in another country if that research would be unlawful, or not generally accepted, in their own country? In a policy paper in PLoS Medicine Loane Skene, Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne, Australia, presents a unique "barometer" for gauging the ethics of such research.

Is it ethical for scientists to conduct or benefit from research in another country if that research would be unlawful, or not generally accepted, in their own country? In a policy paper in PLoS Medicine Loane Skene, Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne, Australia, presents a unique "barometer" for gauging the ethics of such research.

Related Articles


There are many reasons for scientists to undertake research abroad, says Professor Skene, including gaining access to more diverse research facilities and participants in research, or acquiring kudos, academic advancement, or commercial benefits from an enhanced international reputation. And they may also be able to undertake activities in another country that would not be permitted in their own country due to legal or ethical constraints.

"In most cases," says Professor Skene, "it will be lawful in their own country to undertake such activities overseas. It is rare for countries to have laws directly preventing their nationals doing research overseas that would not be permitted at home, or even bringing back the products of such research, unless they pose a safety risk, such as importing genetically manipulated organisms created overseas."

But would it be ethical? To address this question, the author has devised an "ethico-legal barometer" ("Skene's Barometer"; see figure) that gauges whether it would be ethical to do research abroad that is banned at home. The needle of the barometer moves through five zones--white, green, yellow, orange, and red. Research that falls in the red zone, such as research to develop chemical weapons in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, may be regarded as unethical and should be banned, says Professor Skene. "If scientists in the home country seem inclined to do "red zone" research in other countries, the home country can enact extraterritorial laws to prevent them doing so.

In the policy paper, the author illustrates her arguments by focusing on human embryonic stem cell research, and a project in which a group of international experts (called the Hinxton Group) agreed on a consensus statement setting out principles for transnational stem cell research.

Citation: Skene L (2007) Undertaking research in other countries: National ethico-legal barometers and international ethical consensus statements. PLoS Med 4(2): e10. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040010)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Is It Ethical For Scientists To Do Research Abroad That Would Be Forbidden At Home?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070227105740.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2007, February 27). Is It Ethical For Scientists To Do Research Abroad That Would Be Forbidden At Home?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070227105740.htm
Public Library of Science. "Is It Ethical For Scientists To Do Research Abroad That Would Be Forbidden At Home?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070227105740.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins