The long-snarled bid to revise federal rules governing research on human subjects got a boost on Thursday with a National Research Council analysis that endorsed a substantial overhaul.
In a 139-page report, a 15-member panel assisted by dozens of field-specific experts, mostly from American universities, backed changes that include exempting many social-science researchers—such as those conducting oral histories—from the current set of rules.
The commitment to respect for human welfare embodied in the federal rules “ought to mean keeping abreast of the universe of changes that factor into the ethical conduct of research today,” the panel said in the report.
Yet, outside experts said, there’s little reason to believe the report will make much difference to a governmental reassessment of the rules that has been dragging on since July 2011. <Read more.>