Banning scientists from using data to research certain topics is a bad move for all sorts of reasons
A topic I have never given much thought**, so my first reaction may be silly - but why does this data (or any data the NIH collects) have any gatekeeping to begin with?
Our tax dollars fund all of this in the first place, shouldn't it therefore be all open to the public in principle? Anyone care to steelman the counter argument?
I read this part and thought this seemed antithetical to the openness of science:
>"This NIH kind of rule is clearly, in part at least, a reaction to that kind of research. But it’s not clear that it’s required: to access the NIAGADS data, you have to submit a letter from your university’s ethics board saying they approve of the research, as well as a biographical sketch to show that the lead researcher has the experience necessary to handle the data, along with other documents. Only scholars from bona fide universities are going to even attempt to access these data - many of the internet-troll researchers don’t have a university affiliation in the first place."<
** It has annoyed me though that the CDC Wonder Database is constrained by cumbersome user interfaces, whereas I want direct SQL access to sift through the data quickly. I pay enough in taxes that isn't too much to ask.
Hey, Stuart, you have, imho, been on a roll lately. I might disagree about "malign" even though the "intentions" are clearly phenomenologically benevolent. Malign is as malign does, imho, regardless of intentions (and then there is that whole paving of the road to Hell business).
Are you still involved with SIPS? Once upon a time, they were the vanguard of the science reform movement in Psych, and probably still fancy themselves that way. Here is my question. Any sense of "allies" in SIPS or the wider psych science reform movement who see this sort of nonsense as nonsense? Or is it complete radio silence? (By "this sort," I mean the sorts of social justice infused/motivated assaults on scientific norms and practices that have earned science a special place of credibility in the wider world and that you have highlighted here and in several other essays).
C'mon man, why not a title like "Why is NIH blocking promising research on Alzheimers?" A reader has to get halfway through before "this rule could stymie potentially-important research on ageing." I love your work, but sometimes I wish you'd paint a clearer picture of what we're missing out on when we don't do science right. (Then I could use more of these essays with undergraduates.)