I was fortunate to have a post-tenure research leave during the spring 2022 semester. I used the time away from teaching and service to complete a few projects which had been slowed by the pandemic, including a paper with Ali Huber-Disla on the ethics of soda taxes and a paper with Emma Cohn on the permissible use of randomization in public policy experiments when equipoise is not satisfied. My hope is that both will be published by the fall. I also completed a forthcoming chapter for The Oxford Handbook of Research Ethics, “The Ethics of Public Policy Experiments: Lessons from Clinical Research Ethics” (pre-print available here). Based in part on this work, I worked with 3ie (International Initiative for Impact Evaluation) to publish three blog posts on the ethics of public policy research in low-income countries.
I was very happy to return to in-person conferences, presenting work at the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Society Meeting in New Orleans in February, and participating in a symposium on Alex John London’s excellent new book, For the Common Good: Philosophical Foundations of Research Ethics, at the Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in Vancouver in April. My comments will appear as a book review in the near future for the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal.
Moving forward, I will continue working on the ethics of public policy research, but am also starting two new projects. The first is a book on the normative dimensions of public policy analysis, part of a broader initiative to establish ethics as a core pillar of research and teaching in the field of public policy. The second concerns the potential for basic income policies to address health inequities. I am currently organizing a two-day, interdisciplinary workshop on this topic with Vida Panitch and Jurgen De Wispelaere at the Brocher Foundation. Our workshop, “The Health Dividend: The Potential of Unconditional Basic Income to Address Health Inequities,” will run May 23-24, 2023.