HOME

 

 

    NEWS

INTERVIEWS

RESOURCES

ABOUT

View by:

 SUBJECT

 THEME

QUESTION

  TERM

 PERSON

   EVENT

Oversight and Accountability

The appearance of new technology can evoke apprehension and engender uncertainty among segments of the population about its uses. Where these concerns are related to issues having important ethical and social implications, certain levels of oversight are appropriate. But it is important to create new oversight mechanisms or regulatory burdens only when there are compelling reasons for doing so. Public oversight should be in proportion to the seriousness of the concerns raised.

Although some adjustments in the current system of oversight are necessary, no new regulatory mechanisms are needed at the present time to ensure responsible social and professional control of such research in the United States. A system that has, over time, protected the public health and safety while simultaneously providing a setting that is congenial to the advancement of science has much to offer. The basic framework is sound and includes several attractive features:

  • It is pluralistic, with multiple access points for those who wish to be heard and influence public policy.

  • It is democratic, with public involvement encouraged on different levels and at different points in the drafting, consideration, and promulgation of public policy.

  • It is flexible, in that it can adapt to accommodate cutting-edge research and innovative technology.

  • It is compatible with the values of scientific freedom and public accountability.

  • It supports private-public partnerships consistent with the distinct yet complementary goals of the private sector and government.

Despite these strengths of the existing framework for oversight of research, as the science advances, new issues may emerge that will challenge acceptable ethical practices and public policy. As human stem cell research proceeds, there should be opportunities for public reconsideration of the need for any special institutional oversight, and we strongly recommend an open, informed, and continuing public discourse on these matters.

Email link | Printer-friendly | Feedback | Contributed by: AAAS DoSER and the Institute for Civil Society

Topic Sets Available

AAAS Report on Stem-Cells

AstroTheology: Religious Reflections on Extraterrestrial Life Forms

Agency: Human, Robotic and Divine
Becoming Human: Brain, Mind, Emergence
Big Bang Cosmology and Theology (GHC)
Cosmic Questions CD-ROM Preview...
Cosmic Questions Interviews

Cosmos and Creator
Creativity, Spirituality and Computing Technologies
CTNS Content Home
Darwin: A Friend to Religion?
Demystifying Information Technology
Divine Action (GHC)
Dreams and Dreaming: Neuroscientific and Religious Visions'
E. Coli at the No Free Lunchroom
Engaging Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence: An Adventure in Astro-Ethics
Evangelical Atheism: a response to Richard Dawkins
Ecology and Christian Theology
Evolution: What Should We Teach Our Children in Our Schools?
Evolution and Providence
Evolution and Creation Survey
Evolution and Theology (GHC)
Evolution, Creation, and Semiotics

The Expelled Controversy
Faith and Reason: An Introduction
Faith in the Future: Religion, Aging, and Healthcare in the 21st Century

Francisco Ayala on Evolution

From Christian Passions to Scientific Emotions
Genetic Engineering and Food

Genetics and Ethics
Genetic Technologies - the Radical Revision of Human Existence and the Natural World

Genomics, Nanotechnology and Robotics
Getting Mind out of Meat
God and Creation: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives on Big Bang Cosmology
God, Humanity and the Cosmos: A Textbook in Science and Religion
God the Spirit - and Natural Science
Historical Examples of the Science and Religion Debate (GHC)
History of Creationism
Intelligent Design Coming Clean

Issues for the Millennium: Cloning and Genetic Technologies
Jean Vanier of L'Arche
Nano-Technology and Nano-ethics
Natural Science and Christian Theology - A Select Bibliography
Neuroscience and the Soul
Outlines of the Science and Religion Debate (GHC)

Perspectives on Evolution

Physics and Theology
Quantum Mechanics and Theology (GHC)
Questions that Shape Our Future
Reductionism (GHC)
Reintroducing Teleology Into Science
Science and Suffering

Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action (CTNS/Vatican Series)

Space Exploration and Positive Stewardship

Stem-Cell Debate: Ethical Questions
Stem-Cell Ethics: A Theological Brief

Stem-Cell Questions
Theistic Evolution: A Christian Alternative to Atheism, Creationism, and Intelligent Design...
Theology and Science: Current Issues and Future Directions
Unscientific America: How science illiteracy threatens our future
Will ET End Religion?

Current Stats: topics: >2600, links: >300,000, video: 200 hours.