Posted in Science and Technology, The State / The Government

General Paper Essay Outline : Should governments regulate scientific research / medical science ?

Disclaimer : Here are just some ideas. This outline is not meant to be taken as the only, or the final answer, to this question.

warning handle with care

Some really good and succinct articles :

Read this piece only if you have a whole lot of time :

Interpretations :

What are the roles of the government ? – progress (economic growth, social stability); security

How can a government regulate ? – laws, incentives, rules / guidelines, checks & monitoring

What parts of scientific research can be regulated ?

– the product (What to research : harmful or beneficial)

– the process (How the research is carried out ; the extent of the research : any harm ? exploitation ? violation of moral boundaries ?)

Stand : Governments should regulate scientific research so that the research is beneficial to the masses, but governments should not control to the extent of hindering the progress of the research.


  1. Utilitarian principle – greatest good for the majority + prevent harm to the public, end-users
  2. Set moral standards for society >>> Social stability – regulate what could be controversial and divisive
  3. Critical, sensitive research (e.g. defence) needs to be regulated, (groups of) scientists unauthorised by the state should be prohibited
  4. Economic growth  –  determine which research is potentially lucrative
  5. Prevent exploitation of end-users, test subjects, the environment etc

But do not regulate to the point of retarding scientific development. Here are some arguments against regulation :

  1. If other parties do better, then reduce regulation – Other may have better resources than the government + To increase competition amongst them
  2. Regulation prevents innovation and restricts the scientists from potential discoveries
  3. Government could implement regulatory policies based on simplistic or even alarmist views

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