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    Ethics of sts research

  • Right of Free and Informed Consent : This is the right of participants in a research project to know the harms and benefits of the research. It also includes the right not to be forced to participate in a project but, instead, offer or withdraw voluntarily their consent to participate. When preparing a STS analysis, it is mandatory to take active measures to facilitate participants's free and informed consent.
  • Any STS analysis must take active measures to recognize potential harms and minimize or eliminate them. This is especially the case regarding the information that may be collected about different individuals. Special provisions must be taken to maintain confidentiality in collecting, storing, and using sensitive information. This includes careful disposal of information after it is no longer needed.

Participatory observation

  • As we said above, a socio-technical system (STS) is “an intellectual tool to help us recognize patterns in the way technology is used and produced.” Constructing these tools requires combining modes of analysis that are ordinarily kept separate. Because STSs embed values, they are normative. These values can help to chart out trajectories of change and development because they outline values that the system needs to realize, maintain, or even enhance. In this way, the study of STSs is normative and a legitimate inquiry for practical and professional ethics. On the other hand, STS analysis requires finding out what is already there and describing it. So STS analysis is descriptive as well. In this textbox, we will talk briefly about the descriptive or empirical components of STS analysis. This material is taken from the draft manuscript of Good Computing: A Virtue Approach to Computer Ethics and has been developed by Chuck Huff.
  • Interviews : Semi-Structured and Structured Interviews conducted with those familiar with a given STS provide an excellent source of information on the constituents of a given STS and how these fit together into an interrelated whole. For example, the STS grid on power systems was put together by experts in this area who were able to provide detailed information on power rates and protocols, software used to distribute energy through the gridlines, and different sources (representing both hard and soft technologies) of power generation.
  • Field Observation : Those constructing a STS analysis go directly to the system and describe it in its day-to-day operation. Two books provide more information on the types and techniques of field observation: 1. David M. Fetterman, Ethnography: 2nd Edition, Applied Social Research Methods Series, Vol 17. London, UK.: Sage Publishers, 1998 and 2. James P. Spradley, Participant Observation. New York, Harcourt, 1980. The data collected in this method can also be used to construct day-in-the-life scenarios that describe how a given technology functions on a typical day. These scenarios are useful for uncovering value conflicts and latent accidents. See James T. Reason, Human Error, Cambridge, UK.: Cambridge University Press, 1990 for information on latent accidents, how they are detected, and how they are prevented.
  • Questionnaires : Questionnaires are useful for gathering general information from large numbers of people about a STS. Constructing good questionnaires is a difficult process that requires patience as well as trial and error. (Trying out questions on classmates and friends is the best way to identify unclear or misleading questions.) Avoiding complex, overly leading, and loaded questions represent a few of the challenges facing those who would construct useful questionnaires.
  • Archival and physical trace methods : Looking at user manuals provides insight into how a system has been designed and how it works. Studying which keys are worn down on computer keyboards provides information on the kind of work being done. Comparing how a system is intended to work with how it is in fact being used is also illuminating, especially when one is interested in tracing the trajectory of a STS. Working with archival and physical trace methods requires critical thought and detective work.
  • None of the above methods, taken in isolation, provides complete information on a STS. Triangulation represents the best way to verify data and to reconcile conflicting data. Here we generate evidence and data from a variety of sources then compare and collate. Claims made by interviewees that match direct on-site observations confirm one another and indicate data strength and veracity. Evidence collected through questionnaires that conflicts with evidence gathered through archival research highlights the need for detective work that involves further observation, comparison, interpretation, and criticism.
  • Developing STS analyses bears a striking resemblance to requirements analysis. In both cases, data is collected, refined, and put together to provide an analysis. A key to success in both is the proper combination of normative and descriptive procedures.

Questions & Answers

who was the first nanotechnologist
Lizzy Reply
k
Veysel
technologist's thinker father is Richard Feynman but the literature first user scientist Nario Tagunichi.
Veysel
Norio Taniguchi
puvananathan
Interesting
Andr
I need help
Richard
anyone have book of Abdel Salam Hamdy Makhlouf book in pdf Fundamentals of Nanoparticles: Classifications, Synthesis
Naeem Reply
what happen with The nano material on The deep space.?
pedro Reply
It could change the whole space science.
puvananathan
the characteristics of nano materials can be studied by solving which equation?
sibaram Reply
plz answer fast
sibaram
synthesis of nano materials by chemical reaction taking place in aqueous solvents under high temperature and pressure is call?
sibaram
hydrothermal synthesis
ISHFAQ
how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
Almas
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
yeah
Joseph
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
Lohitha
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
William
currently
William
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
Kamaluddeen
yes
narayan
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
Bhagvanji
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
STM - Scanning Tunneling Microscope.
puvananathan
What you would do if you were in the position of the tourist?
Irha Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Corporate governance. OpenStax CNX. Aug 20, 2007 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10396/1.10
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