The discussion about research ethics is disproportional

  • The discussion about research ethics focused around dealing no harm to test subjects in the interest to minimize suffering is missing the point of opportunity cost.
  • Accoring to Data - Cost of saving a life accoring to the AMFData - Cost of saving a life accoring to the AMF

    Metadata:

    author:
    title: costofsavingaliveaccordingtoamf.pdf




    provided by givewell.com, saving a life costs the Against Malaria Foundation around 4000 dollars as of 2021
  • Looking at Data - Salaries of reasearch staff in Germany (German)Data - Salaries of reasearch staff in Germany (German)

    Metadata:

    author:
    title: entgelttabelle-tvoed-2018.pdf
    url: Weblink




    we can see that the opportunity cost of having one researcher work on a project for one month generates the opportunity cost of one life not safed.
  • Therefore, if we look at projects worked on by multiple researchers work for multiple months, it puts the head count of research projects in the double digits.
  • The current ethics code can therefore not be used to compare two studies solely based on the conditions that the test subjects are placed under.
  • A very specific questionaire that took months to develop is therefore a lot more harmful in general than more cheaply created studies that have potential risks for their test subjects.
  • However, there is an argument to be made that these practices can actually support research, as Ethical research principles encourage test subjects to participate in studiesEthical research principles encourage test subjects to participate in studies

    While ethics is generally considered to slow down scientific progress, having ethics in place makes it easier to get test subjects to volunteer for your studies.
    Knowing that one can withdraw ...