Ethnobiology Ethics Lab (eeLab)

Session Date and Time: 
Thursday, 17 March, 2016 - 13:30 to 15:30
Harvill Hall, Rm. 3
Session Organizer(s): 
Cynthia Fowler -- Wofford College

The eeLab brings together our community of ethnobiologists to discuss today’s ethical issues.  A goal of the eeLab is to produce a set of standards that will form the foundation for a multi-year review and update of the Society of Ethnobiology’s code of ethics.  The eeLab is organized in the spirit of learning with and listening to the Society’s members so that we can construct a participatory and collaborative set of governing principles.

Ethnobiologists continuously face ethics problems and make ethics choices in the course of our work.  Ethnobiologists confront ethics issues when designing research projects, obtaining research permits, securing funding, conducting fieldwork, interacting with our collaborators and members of surrounding communities, as well as while doing document-based research, and translating our research for scholarly and general audiences.  Among the potential issues panelists may discuss are: collaborative ethnobiology; biodiversity legislation (e.g., in Brazil), protection, and/or degradation; Indigenous languages; climate change and/or politics and governance; research visas and permits (e.g., in Indonesia or Native American nations); variations in ethics depending on cultural context; open access publishing; ethnobiology research methods; visual representations (satellite images, drones, from social media); bioethics; classroom teaching; field training; collaborative knowledge production; risky environmental management strategies (e.g., prescribed burning, species introductions); multispecies involvements; intervention in local environmental management when the environment is being severely degraded; the ethics of archaeologists’ relationships with Indigenous communities; the Society’s current Ethics Code; and sovereignty. 

Panelists are invited to propose other topics not listed here.  The eeLab and discussion questions will be designed around panelists’ expertise.The format for the ethics session will begin with opening statements from the panelists and will continue with a group discussion among panelists and the audience focused around several key questions.