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Interdisciplinary graduate course "Internet and ethics" 1. - 6. of June 2002 at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Start 11.15 a.m. Saturday 1st, finish 15 p.m. Thursday 6th.
This is an interdisciplinary national graduate course mainly directed towards doctoral students at NTNU, universities and high schools in Norway, and also within other Nordic countries. The main goal is to build ethical competence related to Internet and Internet research. Many of the ethical challenges that are raised by researching the Internet are of great interest to many different disciplines, both within the technological faculties, the social sciences, and the humanities. In particular, we know that there are many graduate students at NTNU, among others within arts and media, linguistics, applied linguistics, interdisciplinary studies of culture, and information technology.
The course is arranged by the Programme for Applied Ethics at NTNU, in collaboration with the organisers of the conference "Making Common Ground: Methodological and Ethical issues in doing Internet-research".
Design of the course:
The course is introduced by the conference "Making Common Ground: Methodological and Ethical issues in doing Internet-research", which is a nordic interdisciplinary conference and workshop at NTNU, Trondheim, Norway, 1. and 2. of June 2002. see http://huminf.uib.no/%7Edagelg/CommonGround/. This part of the course is open to conference participants, graduate students and NTNU scholars, as well.
A concentrated part of the course continues 3. -6. June for graduate students. 8 lectures are offered. These are also open to NTNU scholars and conference participants. In addition, there will be some activities that are reserved for the graduate students, such as discussions and supervision on essay topics and essay writing.
The course will treat fundamental ethical issues that become urgent within the Internet field in general, and within Internet research more particularly. The most central topics are described in the list below.
(1) Research ethics and the normative structure of science (Elgesem)
Key words: research ethics in relationship to the normative structure of scientific activity, connections between the internal norms of good scientific practice, the external justification of scientific activity, and norms pertaining to the ethics of research; discussion of cases of conflict between the rights of individuals and the interest in the quality of research. Which are the values that are involved in such a conflict, and to what extent is it possible to make trade-offs between such values?
(2) Internet research ethics: basic issues and cross-cultural perspectives (Ess)
Key words: Privacy, confidentiality, anonymity/ pseudonymity and cross-cultural issues.
(3) Ethics and digital data (Mann)
Key words: The distinction between public and private, intrusion of privacy, security and confidentiality.
(4) Internet research: complications and meta-ethics (Ess)
Key words: Deontological position (protecting human rights of the research subject, vis a vis research and business interests) vs. consequentialist position (accepting risks of harm to subjects - by favouring research and business interests over individual privacy).
(5) Finding an ethical framework for online research (Mann)
Key words: Ethical issues in generating research in general and the challenges posed to a deontological evaluation of ethics in research.
(6) Ethical responsibilities to research informants (Mann)
Key words: Informed consent, participant risk, anonymity, and debriefing.
(7) Free speech and intellectual property on the Internet (Elgesem)
Many people, most recently Lawrence Lessig, have argued that the freedom of the Internet as an arena for the flow of ideas is threatened in various ways. The lecture will discuss this concern, and the underlying normative issues which it raises. The implications for Internet research will be addressed. Keywords: freedom of ideas on the Internet, the Internet as an intellectual commons, Internet research and problems of intellectual property rights
(8) Internet research ethics: embodiment and identity (Ess)
Key words: Disembodiment, the virtual subject and "liberation in cyberspace" (1980s, 1990s postmodernism), and post-modernism, the turn towards embodiment and "the post-human".