Experiences of Ethics, Governance and Scientific Practice in Neuroscience Research
The Cambridge Handbook of Health Research Regulation
Over the last decade or so, sociologists and other social scientists concerned with the development and application of biomedical research have come to explore the lived realities of regulation and governance in science. In particular, the instantiation of ethics as a form of governance within scientific practicevia, for instance, research ethics committees (RECs)has been extensively interrogated. 2 Social scientists have demonstrated the reciprocally constitutive nature of science and ethics,
... hich renders problematic any assumption that ethics simply follows (or stifles) science in any straightforward way. 3 This chapter draws on and contributes to such discussion through analysing the relationship between neuroscience (as one case study of scientific work) and research ethics. I draw on data from six focus groups with scientists in the UK (most of whom worked with human subjects) to reflect on how ethical questions and the requirements of RECs as a form of regulation are experienced within (neuro)science. The focus groups were conducted in light of a conceptual concern with how 'issues and identities interweave'; i.e. how personal and professional identities relate to how particular matters of concern are comprehended and engaged with, and how those engagements themselves participate in the building of identities. 4 The specific analysis 1 This chapter revisits and reworks a paper previous published as: M. Pickersgill, 'The Co-production of Science, Ethics and Emotion', (2012) Science, Technology & Human Values, 37(6), 579-603. Data are reproduced by kind permission of the journal and content used by permission of the publisher, SAGE Publications, Inc.