Democracy, individual rights and the regulation of science

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 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 - Jun 16 2009


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

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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