Democracy, individual rights and the regulation of science

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Whether the US Constitution guarantees a right to conduct scientific research is a question that has never been squarely addressed by the United States Supreme Court. Similarly, the extent to which the First Amendment protects the right to communicate the results of scientific research is an issue about which there is scant judicial authority. This article suggests that a crucial guidepost for exploring both these uncharted areas of constitutional law should be whether restrictions on scientific research or communication truly implicate fundamental individual rights or instead primarily concern issues of general social welfare-issues that in a democracy are properly decided by the representative branches of government or their delegates, not by the judiciary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-429
Number of pages23
JournalScience and engineering ethics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


  • First Amendment
  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of thought and inquiry
  • Judicial scrutiny
  • Scientific research
  • Scientific speech
  • Substantive due process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Democracy, individual rights and the regulation of science'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this