Possibly the single biggest obstacle to conducting research

Catherine & Katharine

An entity to which all researchers are accountable and which is accountable to no one.

A juggernaut that accrues ever more power from our ever increasing safety-ism plus fear of lawsuits, and yet whose dictates are increasingly out of line with our shared common sense.

Some people have taken note:

https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/censors-hand

From the summary:

[Schneider] concludes that IRBs were fundamentally misconceived. Their usefulness to human subjects is doubtful, but they clearly delay, distort, and deter research that can save people’s lives, soothe their suffering, and enhance their welfare. IRBs demonstrably make decisions poorly. They cannot be expected to make decisions well, for they lack the expertise, ethical principles, legal rules, effective procedures, and accountability essential to good regulation. And IRBs are censors in the place censorship is most damaging—universities.

I would add that IRBs are especially misconceived when it comes to selectively “protecting” human subjects from educational interventions.

Not…

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