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Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 477–517 | Cite as

Survey on Using Ethical Principles in Environmental Field Research with Place-Based Communities

  • Dianne QuigleyEmail author
  • Alana Levine
  • David A. Sonnenfeld
  • Phil Brown
  • Qing Tian
  • Xiaofan Wei
Original Paper

Abstract

Researchers of the Northeast Ethics Education Partnership (NEEP) at Brown University sought to improve an understanding of the ethical challenges of field researchers with place-based communities in environmental studies/sciences and environmental health by disseminating a questionnaire which requested information about their ethical approaches to these researched communities. NEEP faculty sought to gain actual field guidance to improve research ethics and cultural competence training for graduate students and faculty in environmental sciences/studies. Some aspects of the ethical challenges in field studies are not well-covered in the literature. More training and information resources are needed on the bioethical challenges in environmental field research relating to maximizing benefits/reducing risks to local inhabitants and ecosystems from research; appropriate and effective group consent and individual consent processes for many diverse communities in the United States and abroad; and justice considerations of ensuring fair benefits and protections against exploitation through community-based approaches, and cultural appropriateness and competence in researcher relationships.

Keywords

Bioethical principles Community-based participatory research Cultural competence Diversity Environmental science Environmental studies Field research methods Informed consent Nonmaleficence Research ethics 

Notes

Funding

Funding was provided by National Science Foundation, Ethics Education in Science and Engineering (EESE) (Grant No. GEO-1338751).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Science and Technology StudiesBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF)SyracuseUSA
  3. 3.Social Science Environmental Health Research InstituteNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  4. 4.Science and Technology StudiesProvidenceUSA

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