Most models assume there are actors who are at risk in the research situation and whose consent is required, a set of conditions that is unlikely to characterize social observation. An alternative is for the investigator or/and his sponsoring organization to indemnify the participant or to warrant the conditions of participation. Two developments raise the spectre of comprehensive federal control of scientific inquiry into human affairs. The first is that some Federal agencies, such as the United States Department of Justice and its Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, base their regulation on a centralized agency review rather than a mixed model of peer and government review. The second development is a stipulation by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare that all organizations receiving funding and having established local institutional review boards must review all, research on human subjects. Behavioral science inquiry is generally low risk inquiry so that for much of it, requirements of informed consent seem unnecessary and burdensome.