<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

    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

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Business ethics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 04, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10491/1.11
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Business ethics' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask