News - February 14, 2013

Korthals quits SEC job

Ethical committee has not been a success.
Chair disappointed at lack of support.

Professor Michiel Korthals will be giving up his position as chairman of the Social Sciences Ethics Committee (SEC). He is disappointed at the lack of support for the committee's work. 'I did my best but it has not become a success. Now someone else can have a turn.' Ever since 2009, Korthals has been working on implementing compulsory ethical assessments for social science research within Wageningen UR. The committee was set up two years ago but assessments are voluntary. Korthals finds this frustrating, as he made clear in a recent interview in Resource. 'That interview made me think long and hard about whether I could still actually make a difference with the SEC. My conclusion is that I did my best but it's time to call it a day. I've got a little over a year to go before I retire and I'd like to spend that time on something else.'
Korthals admits that he is mainly disappointed by the optional nature of the assessĀ­ment.  'That's frustrating. At the moment I'm only getting one request every two weeks.' Korthals will be stopping at the end of the month. It is not yet known who will take his place.