Consideration of the adaptive problems faced by our ancestors suggests functional reasons why people exhibit some biases in social judgment more than others. We present a taxonomy consisting of six domains of central social challenges. Each is associated with somewhat different motivations, and consequently different decision-rules. These decision-rules, in turn, make some biases inherently more likely to emerge than others.
Between 1993 and 2002, 39 clinical trial staff were investigated for scientific misconduct by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI). Analysis of ORI case records reveals practices regarding workload, training and supervision that enable misconduct. Considering the potential effects on human subjects protection, quality and reliability of data, and the trustworthiness of the clinical research enterprise, regulations or guidance on use of clinical trial staff ought to be available. Current ORI regulations do not hold investigators or institutions responsible for supervision (...) and training of clinical trial staff. Given the important issues at stake, the definition of research misconduct should encompass the intentional or negligent mismanagement of scientific projects. Individual institutions and professional associations not only can but should adopt stricter standards of conduct than those reflected in federal regulations. (shrink)
According to the ‘fact-plus-value’ model of pathology propounded by K. W. M. Fulford, ‘disease’ is a value term that ought to reflect a ‘balance of values’ stemming from patients and doctors and other ‘stakeholders’ in medical nosology. In the present article I take issue with his linguistic-analytical arguments for why pathological status must be relative to such a kind of medico-ethical normativity. Fulford is right to point out that Boorse and other naturalists are compelled to utilize evaluative terminology when they (...) characterize the nature of diseases and biological dysfunctions. But the relevant ‘biofunctional judgements’ are no less factual and empirical for that. While it is indeed evaluative to say that biological dysfunctions involve failures to execute naturally selected functions, such judgments are not bound to entail anything about what is good or bad for us, and what should be treated or not. In the last part of the paper I ruminate briefly on the relationship between ‘biological evaluationism’, on my construal, and descriptions of ‘causal biology’. As I note in my conclusion, a strict bioevaluative concept of disease can be valid for every species on earth, and thus be of particular usefulness in general biological contexts. (shrink)