Research Ethics

Research interests may conflict with compliance, with generally accepted standards and values. Questions about the responsibility and accountability of research and its possible effects on society or individuals are central. Some funders therefore require the consent of an ethics committee when ethically relevant research questions are at stake.

Ethical aspects are particularly relevant in certain fields of research, e.g. ...

  • Human experiments with test persons
  • Stem cell research
  • Genetic engineering
  • Research for armament purposes
  • Resource consumption by research
  • Data protection
  • Animal testing

There are 3 commissions which are responsible for the University of Basel to examine research projects for their ethical justifiability. The commissions have different priorities, see below. The ethics committees work together in the sense that they, if they are not responsible, pass on a project to the relevant committee.

Research on humans is indispensable for medical and scientific progress. However, such investigations are only ethically justifiable if the inviolability of the human dignity of the persons involved is guaranteed.

It is the task of the Ethics Commission of Northwestern and Central Switzerland (EKNZ) to assess the compatibility of individual research projects with the applicable national and international guidelines for research investigations on humans and to prevent the implementation of ethically unacceptable projects. The protection and rights of the study participants always have the highest priority.

The Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Psychology reviews and evaluates planned research projects in the field of psychological research at the Faculty of Psychology for ethical harmlessness with the aim of ensuring the protection of the study participants and the balance between the risks and benefits of the research investigations. Research projects which are evaluated by the cantonal ethics committees in accordance with the Human Research Act are exempt from this requirement.

The Ethics Commission of the University is a permanent expert committee of the Regenz, that is currently being established. It gives advice on questions about ethically relevant research if it's not governed by the Human Research Act.