Empirical Research and Recommendations for Moral Action: A Plea for the Transparent Reporting of Bridge Principles in Public Health Research

Public Health Ethics 15 (2):147-159 (2022)
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Abstract

Academic publications of empirical public health research often entail recommendations for moral action that address practitioners and policy makers. These recommendations are regularly based on implicit moral judgments with the underlying reasons not explicitly stated. In this paper, we elaborate on the moral relevance of such judgments and the need to explain them in order to account for academic argumentation. We argue for an explicit reporting of bridge principles to increase the transparency of the reporting of public health research. The reporting of bridge principles can inform readers, support them in understanding the relationship between empirical and normative claims in a specific paper, and may pave new ways for the rigorous reporting of empirical research that has moral implications. Furthermore, it can be used to classify studies to systematically address the justification for their argumentation.

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Sebastian Schleidgen
Fernuniversität Hagen