Research Ethics Insurrection: Challenges to REB Criteria from the Social Sciences

Firth, Steve. 2017. “Research Ethics Insurrection: Challenges to REB Criteria from the Social Sciences” Meeting of the Minds Graduate Student Journal 1 (March). doi:10.5281/zenodo.437193.

Keywords: Research Ethics Boards, Research, TCPS 2, Ethics


Social Science relies heavily on the use of ethnography and other forms of qualitative study, research that may place the researcher as well as their subjects at significant ethical risk. In Canada, Research Ethics Boards are responsible for protecting research participants during these studies. But how much ethical oversight ought the Research Ethics Boards be entitled to? Are they repressing valuable qualitative studies or are the Social Science simply rebelling against new but appropriate control mechanisms not formerly applied to them? This paper evaluates how well the changes made in the TCPS 2 respond to the concerns of Social Scientists as presented in the literature.