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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

When the Anths Come Marching In (Papers: Michelle Trudgett and Susan Page 2014)0

Posted by Admin in on March 28, 2016

Excerpt: This essay provides a first-hand account of why it is important to have Indigenous representation on Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs), and more importantly why some research simply should not go ahead. Collectively we have 10 years experience serving on HRECs, extensive Indigenous Higher Education research, as well as our lived experience as Indigenous Australians. Despite such experience and expertise, we find ourselves too often in the firing lines of unhappy researchers whose breathtaking sense of entitlement underlines their claims to ‘know’ a particular community. As a noted Native American scholar notes in relation research on Indigenous peoples:
We have been observed, noted, taped, and videoed. Our behaviors have been recorded in every possible way known to Western Science, and I suppose we could learn to live with this if we had not become imprisoned in the anthropologist’s words. The language that anthropologists use to explain us traps us in linguistic cages because we must explain our ways through alien hypothetical constructs and theoretical frameworks (King 2012: 207).

Trudgett M and Page S (2014) When the Anths Come Marching In. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 25 (3): 388-390

Ethics and politics (Papers: David Trigger 2014)0

Posted by Admin in on March 25, 2016

Excerpt: The moral case for ethical oversight in relation to social research is reasonable but the politics of assessments remains largely unaddressed. The purpose as set out in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research is that participants are accorded respect and protection and that research is fostered that benefits ‘the community’. While university ethics committees are broadly made up of academics and others of good will it is the complexity of deciding how projects achieve these purposes that provokes difficulty. In my dealings with ethics committees in two Australian universities over some 20 years it has required considerable effort to ensure that appropriate oversight for projects has not been confounded by committee members confusing their own personal political positions with decisions about approving particular studies.

Trigger D (2014) Ethics and politics. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 25 (3): 386-388

The Ethics Trapeze (Papers: Will C. van den Hoonaard 2006)0

Posted by Admin in on March 22, 2016

Abstract: This article constitutes the introduction to a collection of essays in volume 4 of JAE, representing an extremely diverse collection of pieces written by authors from equally diverse backgrounds with the purpose of sharing the theoretical and practical issues related to research-ethics, or on ethics more generally. All of the articles are fresh contributions to the research-ethics review debate. The 17 authors of the 12 articles come from the United States, South Africa, and Canada. Their disciplinary or research backgrounds include Aboriginal literatures, English literature, English-as-a Second-Language pedagogy, French literature, history, language and literacy, liberal arts, and linguistics – all fields in the cluster of the humanities. The volume also has contributions from social work, sociology, and speech pathology. The world of research-ethics review has become so pervasive that it invades all areas of research: it does not respect disciplinary boundaries. The articles in this special volume represent, in short, a microscope of the research world.

Key words: ethics in research humanities and ethics research-ethics review

van den Hoonaard, Will C (2006) The Ethics Trapeze. Journal of Academic Ethics. 4(1) pp 1-10

Human research ethics committees: Beyond critique to participation (Papers: Simon Batterbury 2014)0

Posted by Admin in on March 21, 2016

Excerpt: There is frequent criticism by social scientists of Human Research Ethics Committees (HREC). They are accused of ‘ethics creep’, having expanded from their earliest focus in the medical and veterinary sciences following a 1974 ruling in the USA (1985 in Australia) (Haggerty 2004; Dyer and Demeritt 2009). Ethics committees now review any university research involving human ‘subjects’ (Borenstein 2008). Dissatisfaction about the practice of ethics review is especially strong in anthropology, where it is often hard to specify in advance what will be done in a given project and participants are often already known to the researcher (Cowlishaw 2013). Ethnography’s ‘. . .immersive and exploratory nature’ is difficult to predict or constrain in advance of fieldwork (Chenhall et al. 2011: 17). Researchers dislike being forced by their institutions, which may be running scared of lawsuits or costly insurance claims for projects-gone-wrong, to justify and specify their work (Cowlishaw 2013).

Batterbury S (2014) Human research ethics committees: Beyond critique to participation. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 25 (3): 385-386
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