Exploring Ethics: Experimental Social Science

Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, San Diego | get directions

Cost: Free

Age limit: All ages

Emerging Ethics Challenges for Experimental Social Science Speaker Scott Desposato, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, UC San Diego. New experimental and big data research have generated unexpected ethical challenges for social scientists. Historically, these disciplines have been largely observational involving the passive collection of existing information and data. More recently, social scientists have embraced experimental methods to study a wide variety of social, policy, and political questions. This experimental revolution has created a new set of ethical problems and a backlash against social science experiments. Especially challenging are the popular field experiments – experiments conducted on a massive scale, without any informed consent, often affecting larger societies or systems. For example, scientists might send surreptitious political advertisements and affect an election outcome. We will examine the new issues, examine the perspective of subjects and societies, and discuss the way social scientists are working to build new norms of research.

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