Most likely you know about the recent revelations about the role of the American Psychological Association (APA) in the torture / “enhanced interrogation” of the G.W. Bush administration. In case you’re in the dark, here are a few sources that have crossed my path:
- Report to the Special Committee of the Board Of Directors of the American Psychological Association: Independent Review Relating to APA Ethics Guidelines, National Security Interrogations, and Torture (July 2)
- “APA overhauling policies and leadership after torture report” (July 14) – ScienceInsider
- “What a Bombshell Report Tells Us About the APA’s Abetting of Torture” (July 13) and “Damning Revelations Prompt Social Science to Rethink Its Ties to the Military” (July 15) – The Chronicle of Higher Education
The collusion of some of the APA’s leaders and members is appalling, but as a scholar who works in professional ethics, I am not only outraged, but also deeply saddened. The APA has a code of ethics and an Ethics Office, and yet this all happened. It’s discouraging.
No doubt there are lessons to learn from this, but I’m pretty sure that the obvious ones (don’t lie; don’t hide what you’re doing from your colleagues; disclose your financial conflicts of interest; don’t work with the military) aren’t very useful. We’ve learned all of those things over and over again.
I guess it provides a degree of job security.
Please: Tell me something encouraging.
July 15, 2015
12:52 pm EDT