Flowing through Research on a Moral Tide

Why is it important to be ethical when we conduct research? Why the hell can’t I just round up a group of homeless people and subject them to my research on slave mentality. Short answer, because all living things can experience trauma which has long lasting implications of cognitive and physical function through the rest of their lives. Though most people learn morals and ethics at home, some guidelines on research can be a bit fuzzy. Thus, organisations such as National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Resnik, 2015).

Ethical research has a strong foundation in medical research. situations like the Tuskegee Syphilis study (1932-1972) and the Thalidomide Experiments (1950’s) were instances where individuals and groups performed research which was unethical to the point where most of the above agencies were formed. Today however, it is media research ethics that are getting the hight of attention. Social media research has the ability to invade privacy, evade consent, duplicate copies and ease people through terms and conditions (Swatman, 2012). These issues make media research both effective and immoral. Therefore, there is now a guideline enforced by the Office of Research Ethics and Integrity. They outline how to properly use social media in your research and how to ethically promote your research on social media sites.

It is important to have ethical guidelines in media research so that we can all continue to use medial channels without fear of our privacy or consent being abused. Thus, the guidelines which protect ethical research are also extremely important.

Reference list:

Resnik, D. (2015). What is Ethics in Research & Why is it Important?. [online] Niehs.nih.gov. Available at: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/resources/bioethics/whatis/ [Accessed 31 Mar. 2015].

Brynmawr.edu, (2015). Events and Responses in the History of Research Ethics. [online] Available at: http://www.brynmawr.edu/ceo/students/ethics/eventsresponses.html [Accessed 6 Apr. 2015].

Swatman, P. (2012). ETHICAL ISSUES IN SOCIAL NETWORKING RESEARCH. [online] deakin.com.au. Available at: http://www.deakin.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/269701/Swatman-Ethics-and-Social-Media-Research.pdf [Accessed 6 Apr. 2015].


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