Ethical considerations for alcohol researchers in their relation towards policy makers

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Alcohol policy research all over the world is often funded by national or local governments. Researchers involved may be confronted with several ethical questions. These questions can have quite a different character. Ethical questions may have a severe character that can be quite “clear” for the researchers involved. Miller et al. [1] for instance recently studied interference of funders, like governments or industrial and charitable organizations, in addiction research. Results show that activities occur such as censorship of research outputs, interference with the wording in reports and articles and interventions in when and how findings are released. Governments funding policy research may interfere in a way as described by Miller et al. [1]. but also less obvious ethical issues may occur: What if the research question is formulated in a “questionable” or “suggestive” way? What if policy makers deliberately ignore results of scientific research?
The purpose of this contribution is to elaborate on these less obvious ethical issues, not primarily to give clear-cut answers but to raise consciousness and stimulate reflection and debate among researchers and policy makers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number311
Journal Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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