Unsettling Research Ethics

When: 
Thursday, February 25, 2016 to Friday, February 26, 2016
Where: 
The Hotel Paradox, Santa Cruz, CA

Download the Unsettling Research Ethics conference report:

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Executive Summary

CCREC hosted the Unsettling Research Ethics invitational conference in February 2016. Designed to disrupt formalized approaches to research ethics, the conference facilitated critical dialogue among social scientists, ethics specialists, community based and collaborative researchers, and community leaders. This dialogue was graphically visualized and documented in real time by a graphic facilitator, Julie Gieseke of Map the Mind, thereby providing materials used in the knowledge production of the conference itself and reworked for this report.

The Unsettling Research Ethics conference and report presents a distinctive framework for grappling with the ethics of research, surfacing ethical tensions and dilemmas through the domains of knowledge, relationality, and space and time. This framework aims to deepen ethical praxis and professional formation for researchers and collaborators. Included in this report are learning tools like innovative cases, games, heat maps, and other materials designed for deep engagement with fraught ethical matters.

The Unsettling Research Ethics conference was an intergenerational gathering, with both early career and foundational scholars in anthropology, archaeology, critical race and ethnic studies, black studies, computer science, education, feminist studies, geography, public health, sociology, and philosophy. Participating scholars identify as scholar-activists and/or engage in work related to research ethics, community-based and collaborative approaches to research, and ethics policy work at institutional, professional association, and national levels. Community leaders in attendance have collaboratively partnered with academics, and work in multiple domains of social justice activism and community organizing, including labor, race, women’s issues, immigration, and youth development.

This report provides background on the CCREC ethics research project and its conceptual and pedagogical approaches, including its notion of ‘dwelling with/in the ethics of research.’ Additional frameworks and provocative invitations for engaging the ethics of research are offered by Troy Richardson (Cornell University), Joyce E. King (Georgia State University), Rena Lederman (Princeton University), Diane Fujino (University of California, Santa Barbara), Kisha Supernant (University of Alberta), Richa Nagar (University of Minnesota), Caitlin Cahill (Pratt Institute), and George Lipsitz (University of California, Santa Barbara). The materials included in this report, generated by the CCREC ethics project and Unsettling Research Ethics conference participants, are meant to serve as resources for fostering sustained ethical reflection and strengthened professional development for scholars and research partners concerning the ethics of knowledge, relationality, and space and time.