Ethics

BPS Ethics Procedures – fit for purpose – 2?

As a follow-up to my last post I have, at last, been given the name of the current Chair of the BPS Ethics committee. Just for the record, I contacted the BPS Office on 11 December 2020 and got a reply on 5 January 2021. Even allowing for COVID-19, working from home and the “festive” season, this seems an excessive delay. Additionally, I can only contact the Chair via the BPS Office. Below is a copy of the email that I asked to be forwarded:

Dear Dr Paxton,
I am contacting you in your capacity as Chair of the BPS Ethics Committee.
You will be familiar with the controversy surrounding the late Hans Eysenck’s research with Roland Grossarth-Maticek, including the letter to The Psychologist (September 2019) from Colman et al. requesting the the BPS formally investigate. The response from the Society (via an unnamed and unattributable source) effectively bypassed this by handing the responsibility on to his then employers. 
That has now been done and a report published by Kings College (freely available and in the public domain). They concluded that at least 26 studies were “…unsafe…” and contacted the relevant journal editors to inform them of this.
Where does the BPS stand now? A senior and high-profile psychologist of international repute has had parts of his work formally and thoroughly investigated by an independent group and this work has been found unsafe. Surely the BPS owes its members and the wider public some sort of response?
The BPS is ostensibly dedicated
to promote the advancement and diffusion of a knowledge of psychology pure and applied and especially to promote the efficiency and usefulness of Members of the Society by setting up a high standard of professional education and knowledge.and to maintain a Code of Ethics and Conduct for the guidance of Members and to compel the observance of strict rules of professional conduct as a condition of membership;
At a time when science as whole is under such close scrutiny (if not threat) surely we cannot ignore this, hope that it will go away or hide behind some anodyne statement?
I would be grateful if you let me (or, even better, the membership) know what the BPS is planning to do.
Best wishes,
Peter Harvey AFBPsS (former Chair DCP).

As of today (18 January 2012) I have had no response, no acknowledgement, nothing. The title of this post remains apposite.

Peter Harvey.

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