| The Department of Energy last month issued new guidance on the conduct of classified scientific research involving human subjects.
While all human subject research is governed by federal regulations, the new DOE policy imposes several additional requirements whenever such research is to be performed on a classified basis.
For example, the proposed classified research must be reviewed and approved in advance by an Institutional Review Board, and the Board must include a non-scientist member and a member who is not a governmental employee (though he or she must hold a security clearance for this purpose). Also, the normal requirement for informed consent by the human subject cannot be waived.
See Protection of Human Subjects in Classified Research, DOE Notice N 443.1, approved January 21, 2016.
The nature of any such classified human subject research was not described. Speculatively, it might include certain types of research related to polygraph testing or other deception detection techniques. In the past, the Atomic Energy Commission notoriously carried out radiation experiments on unwitting human subjects, and the Central Intelligence Agency conducted behavior modification experiments involving drugs and other stimuli. […]