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Thinking about ethics in Burma research (Papers: Lisa Brooten & Rosalie Metro | 2014)0

Posted by Admin in on May 28, 2019
 

Burma’s colonial past, its years under military dictatorship, its ongoing ethnic and religious conflicts, and the current shifts in the political landscape all present unique challenges for researchers seeking to behave ethically with their informants, their institutions, each other, and the public sphere. The recent upsurge of interest in Burma presents an opportunity for scholars who study the country to reflect on the ethical dilemmas they have confronted and to articulate how they have addressed them. It is our hope that this effort can help those who specialize in Burma to consider the norms and divergences that exist within our inter-disciplinary scholarly community, and can aid those new to Burma Studies in navigating their research in a more informed manner. In light of the need for such a conversation, The Journal of Burma Studies agreed to publish this special issue.

For some human research designs, (sub)disciplines and methodologies matter.  Contextual factors, privacy and risk, as well as potential vulnerabilities can be entirely different and a peril for unprepared.   This thought-provoking paper is a discussion about ethical research in  Burma. We have included links to four other items about research in dangerous contexts.

The inspiration for this issue came from a panel discussion Rose organized at the 2012 Burma Studies Conference in DeKalb, Illinois, USA. Elliott Prasse-Freeman and Patrick McCormick both presented earlier versions of the essays included here, and Rose described her difficulties with using consent forms in her ethnographic research with teachers on the Thai-Burma border (Metro 2014). The audience members, who represented a broad cross-section of the field, raised a number of important issues that bear further exploration, and several tensions emerged that are echoed in these pages. In particular, a debate on the nature of objectivity between a senior and a mid-career scholar, both anthropologists, pointed to a generational paradigm shift toward an engagement with [End Page 1] the inevitably political nature of Burma Studies. Another exchange, between McCormick, a US researcher based in Burma, and a Burmese person based in the US, highlighted what McCormick calls the “hierarchies of interpretation” in which the academic credentials and positionality of local and international scholars privilege some epistemologies over others. Additionally, several scholars brought up concerns with the consequences of conducting and publishing their research, whether that meant jeopardizing local contacts or having their work appropriated to ends they did not support. These discussions were thought provoking, despite the brevity, and when we found ourselves talking after the conference about the need for more discussion, we decided to continue the conversation in these pages
.

Brooten, L. and Metro, R., (2014). Thinking about ethics in Burma research. Journal of Burma Studies, 18(1), pp.1-22.
Publisher: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/545023/pdf

The ethics of New Development Economics: is the Experimental Approach to Development Economics morally wrong? (Papers: Stéphane J. Baele)0

Posted by Admin in on May 21, 2019
 

Abstract:
The 2000s have witnessed the arrival and growing popularity of randomized controlled experiments (RCTs) in Development Economics. Whilst this new way of conducting research on development has unfolded important insights, the ethical challenge it provokes has not yet been systematically examined. The present article aims at filling this gap by providing the first ad hoc discussion of the moral issues that accompany the use of RCTs in Development Economics. Claiming that this new research agenda needs its own, specific set of ethical guidelines, we expose the six ethical problems that these experiments potentially provoke and that should therefore be carefully assessed by ethics committees before an RCT is launched and by scholarly journals before its results are published.

Keywords:
Development Economics, ethics, RCTs, experiments

Baele, Stéphane J. (2013) ‘The ethics of New Development Economics: is the Experimental Approach to Development Economics morally wrong?’, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, VII:1
Publisher (Open Access): https://jpe.ro/?id=revista&p=291&cuprins=vizibil

The Ethics of Social Research with Children and Families in Young Lives: Practical Experiences (Book: Virginia Morrow | 2009)0

Posted by Admin in on May 19, 2019
 

Preview
A great deal of attention is now paid to the ethics of social research. Research governance has expanded, and a burgeoning literature is emerging that describes the processes, practices and questions that arise in social research with children, families and communities. This paper outlines the approach taken to research ethics within Young Lives, a long-term study of childhood poverty in four developing countries. It describes some of the practical difficulties that Young Lives faces, and emphasises the importance of understanding local contexts in undertaking research with children and families in environments that are dynamic and may change rapidly from one year to the next, economically, environmentally and politically. The paper aims to contribute to current debates about research practices, the ethics of longitudinal research with children and research with communities in majority world contexts, in the spirit of shared enquiry and learning.

Morrow, Virginia (2012) ‘ The Ethics of Social Research with Children and Families in Young Lives: Practical Experiences’, in Jo Boyden and Michael Bourdillon (eds) Childhood Poverty. Multidisciplinary Approaches (pp.24-42). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmilllan.
Book (Amazon): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Childhood-Poverty-Multidisciplinary-Approaches-Development/dp/0230319246
As a working paper: http://www.younglives.org.uk/sites/www.younglives.org.uk/files/YL-WP53-Morrow-EthicsOfResearchWithChildren.pdf

China tightens its regulation of some human gene editing, labeling it ‘high-risk’ – Science (Dennis Normile | February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 19, 2019
 

In the wake of the shocking news that one of its scientists had produced genetically altered babies, the Chinese government this week issued draft regulations that would require national approval for clinical research involving gene editing and other “high-risk biomedical technologies.” Although some Chinese researchers welcome the move to tighten oversight, there are worries that the rules could impose a burden on areas of genetic research that are not so controversial.

“I am happy to see the national regulations regarding new biomedical technologies; I think this makes relevant policy more clear,” says Wei Jia, a medical oncologist who is involved with an ongoing trial using gene editing to modify cancer patient T-cells at the Affiliated Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School in China.

The regulations are in response to the late November 2018 claim by He Jiankui, then of Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, that he had altered the DNA embryos in a way that would give the babies and their descendants resistance to HIV. This approach is called germline engineering—it can involve changing DNA in embryos or sperm or eggs—and is banned in many countries, by law or regulation. He’s effort, using a technique called CRISPR, resulted in twin girls born last fall; one more baby, he said, is on the way. The experiment earned He worldwide condemnation for prematurely using a still glitchy technique that might negatively affect the babies’ development and health in a medically unnecessary and unjustified intervention.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

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