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Lecture | Public Ethics Talk

Public Policy Experiments: What are the Ethical Challenges?

  • Douglas MacKay
Friday 18 February 2022
Public Ethics Talks
Explanation: The event will be hosted in Kaltura Live Room


Governments and non-profit organizations have increasingly turned to randomized controlled trials to evaluate public policy interventions. In this talk, Douglas MacKay identifies some of the principal ethical challenges investigators face regarding the design of these studies, including the fairness of random assignment, the permissibility of research without consent, and the level of care to which participants are entitled. Working through a series of case studies, he defends a set of recommendations for the ethical conduct of public policy experiments.

Douglas MacKay

Douglas MacKay is associate professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill, and member of the UNC Center for Bioethics. His research and teaching interests concern questions at the intersection of justice, research ethics and public policy. He is currently working on projects about the justice of economic inequality – both domestic and global; the ethics of immigration policy; priority setting in health care; the ethics of international clinical research; and justice in the division of responsibilities within federal systems of government. Professor MacKay is co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Research Ethics.

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