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The Future of BioethicsInternational Dialogues$
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Akira Akabayashi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682676.001.0001

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Commentary

Commentary

Public Participation as a Potential Counter Strategy against Unethical Optimism

Chapter:
(p.69) 2.3 Commentary
Source:
The Future of Bioethics
Author(s):

Taichi Isobe

Nozomi Mizushima

Osamu Sakura

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682676.003.0008

The importance and effectiveness of public participation and upstream engagement have been emphasized in the field of STS (Science, Technology, and Society) studies. Here, the authors introduce these as potential tools to clear away unethical “optimism,” which Gareth criticizes in his target article. the authors present three cases (AIDS, muscular dystrophy research, and the shepherds of Cumbria) in which public participation proved to be beneficial. Participation of non-experts within fields in which experts are exclusively involved can potentially break biases and restricted perspectives, and views from non-experts may even lead to newer research directions. Incorporation of patient and subject perspectives into research may reduce unethical, or biased, optimism in clinical research and even basic experiments. the authors surmise that this argument holds true even in the research fields of nerve grafting and nerve regeneration.

Keywords:   Public Participation, Upstream Engagement, STS (Science, Technology, and Society) Studies, Non-experts, Unethical Optimism, Neuroethics

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