Contextualising Ethics in a Dynamic World April 23, 2021

On the one hand, research ethics are universal in that they have to do with respecting rights and dignitynot doing harm, and ensuring community participation in research and benefits to the communities where the research takes place. On the other, context is dynamic and plays a role in determining the ethical considerations in research processes. Tensions exist. How do we ensure that some dominant voices, including those of researchers and research funders, respond to contextual realities and relations rather than dictate ethics to those they research and fund?

I argue for the need to conduct research on and negotiate research ethics, be cognizant of power relations, promote participation and inclusion, continually learn across cultural, disciplinary, organizational, geographic, linguistic, and other boundaries, and evolve practices to keep up with changing times and situations.

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