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Avis du Comité consultatif de déontologie et d’éthique de l’IRD sur le crowdfunding : intérêt et limites

Antoine Blanchard 1, * Elifsu Sabuncu 1
* Corresponding author
Abstract : In June 2013, the ethical committee of the French Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) published a recommendation on crowdfunding that constitutes de facto the first official position of a research organization on this topic in France. As crowdfunding becomes an additional source of funding for research projects, said recommendation highlights two ethical concerns: the absence of peer review and the ability to manipulate donors using marketing claims and empty promises. Our commentary puts this recommendation into perspective, by building on a body of work in ethics of peer review and science communication, as well as some case studies of crowdfunding in science. Thus, we show that their call for peer review based on primum non nocere principle is new, and contradicts evidence that ideological biases in peer review can oppose society needs for research. As a matter of fact, a funding agency such as the US National Science Foundation has implemented a “Second Merit Review Criterion” to assess impacts of research on society. As for marketing claims, we show that the whole of science has become a “business of expectations” and any funding application or scientific publication should beware of empty promises. Finally, we conclude by comparing crowdfunding with classical donation campaigns for biomedical research.
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Antoine Blanchard, Elifsu Sabuncu. Avis du Comité consultatif de déontologie et d’éthique de l’IRD sur le crowdfunding : intérêt et limites . Natures Sciences Sociétés, EDP Sciences, 2016, 24 (2), pp.154-159. ⟨10.1051/nss/2016015⟩. ⟨hal-01259792v2⟩

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