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The Oaxaca Incident: A geographer’s efforts to map a Mexican village reveal the risks of military entanglement – The Chronicle of Higher Education (Paul Voosen 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on May 10, 2016

An American scholar. A Mexican village. The U.S. military. What could go wrong?

On most maps, Tiltepec doesn’t look like much. A Zapotec village of several hundred indigenous people, Tiltepec clings to the steep slopes of the Sierra Juárez, a formidable range in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Its people have lived there for generations in relative isolation under the shadow of Cerro Negro, where once their ancestors forced conquistadors off a cliff to the Rio Vera below. The valley teems with ancient earthen terraces, platforms, and sacred caves. Yet find Tiltepec on government maps and all you’ll see is bare topography and a name. Viewed on Google Earth, it’s even less — a few patches of white rectangles drowned in forest. For most of the world, Tiltepec might as well not exist.

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The Eclipse of ‘Human Subjects’ and the Rise of ‘Human Participants’ in Research Involving Humans. (Books: Igor Gontcharov 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on May 3, 2016

Abstract: The 2010 edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS) adopts a new term, human participants, leaving the previous central concept of human subjects behind. At first glance, this transition may as appear to be a concession to social researchers, an attempt to reconsider the centrality of the biomedical standard in the governance of research involving humans, in response to the criticisms of “ethics creep,” or the expansion of ethics review beyond biomedical disciplines, and the growing “ethics rupture” – the disconnect between the ethics of social research and the formal system of ethics review. The argument here is that while being prima facie consistent with an attempt to build an inclusive regulatory framework, the adoption of human participants will not advance the perspectives of the social sciences and the humanities, in part because the overall conceptual framework continues to promote the biomedical perspective of research ethics and reiterates the centrality of written consent.

Gontcharov I (2016) The eclipse of ‘human subjects’ and the rise of ‘hun1an participant’ in research involving, humans. In: van den Hoonaard W and Hamilton A (eds) Ethics Rupture: Exploring Alternatives to Formal Research-Ethics Review.

African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development (Emmanuel M. Akpabio & Idorenyin F. Esikot 2014)0

Posted by Admin in on April 29, 2016

Abstract: This study seeks to show how social science-related disciplines in Nigerian universities understand and incorporate ethical principles in research settings within the framework of general institutional practices. We used the University of Uyo, Nigeria, to specifically and empirically explore these issues among academic staff and postgraduate students. We used in-depth discussions and interviews, in addition to analysis of secondary record to collect necessary data. Findings show that individual ethical knowledge and consideration in a research setting is not optimal. At institutional level, ethical principles and norms are only weakly observed in teaching and administrative settings and hardly internalised in research settings. A lack of institutional capacity to evolve functional mechanisms for ethical discipline was observed and blamed on the society-wide poor commitment to moral values and the development of the education system in Nigeria. Given the exploratory nature of the study, there is need for more research.”

Keywords: social sciences, research ethics, institutional capacity, Nigerian universities.

Akpabio E M & IEsikot I F  (2014): Social sciences and research ethics in developing countries: The perspective from Nigeria, African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, 6(4)  231-241 DOI: 10.1080/20421338.2014.902562

Ethics assessment in different fields: Social sciences (SATORI Deliverable 1.1)0

Posted by Admin in on April 23, 2016

Excerpt: This report on ethical assessment of research and innovation in social sciences is a part of a comparative study across scientific fields and disciplines within a wider analysis of EU and
international practices of ethical assessment, made by the SATORI project. Ethical assessment in this analysis covers any kind of review or evaluation of research and innovation based on ethical principles. The report will focus on academic traditions of ethics assessment in the field, various types of (national and international) organisations involved in assessment and relevant legislation.

Social sciences are a group of academic disciplines that take human society as the object of their study, attempting to understand human behaviour, relationships and institutions within
society. Traditionally, the group includes sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, law and political science, although there is no outright consensus on which disciplines should
be included. A large number of subfields have and keep emerging, including human geography, cultural studies, business studies, communication studies, development studies, criminology, etc.

A wide range of ethical issues is discussed in the social sciences. Informed consent, confidentiality, avoiding harm, doing good, relations to peers and research integrity are all part of standard ethical guidelines in many of its disciplines. Even though this list may seem similar to issues in other scientific fields, especially in biomedicine, it is important to acknowledge that the nature and methodologies of social science research imply different kinds of ethical risks, especially concerning research participants. Potential for harm resides less in health and injury risks and rather in psychological distress and the danger of stigmatisation if sensitive private information is disclosed. Social scientists often emphasise the need to reflect the proper nature of these risks in ethical assessment protocols.

Gurzawska, A., & R. Benčin, “Ethics assessment in different fields: Social sciences”, Annex 2.d, Ethical Assessment of Research and Innovation: A Comparative Analysis of Practices and Institutions in the EU and selected other countries, SATORI Deliverable 1.1, June 2015.