“This wasn’t an issue that had been covered in my CUREC application. I wondered whether I was being an ethical researcher”
We have all had moments like that during our research – where unexpected situations make us question the limits of responsible and ethical research. Often, the events that make us question our ethics are relatively innocuous daily occurrences. Examples of these “ethical instances” could include:
Being invited to the home of a fieldwork participant for a social event
Receiving gifts from fieldwork participants or host institutions
Being asked to raise awareness about a political situation in your fieldwork country
While researchers make commitments to protecting their research participants and the data they gather in the CUREC forms, how these daily issues fit into these broad commitments is far from clear. Researchers must often trust their own judgement in navigating these “ethical instances”. This can place unnecessary stress on the researcher, as they wonder whether they have selected the right course of action.
What is needed is an uncritical space in which to discuss “ethical instances” and seek advice from our peers. This space is Pint of Ethics, a monthly meet-up hosted by the Social Sciences division.
What is A Pint of Ethics, and how can I get involved?
A Pint of Ethics is a voluntary meet-up at the University Club every second Wednesday of the month. Come along to discuss “ethical instances”, raise queries and get advice. Topics can be submitted anonymously HERE, or raised in discussion. The events will be chaired by an early career researcher, but discussion is intended to crowdsource experiences and expertise to learn from. All discussions will be conducted under Chatham House rules to protect the privacy of discussants and fieldwork participants.