The purpose of the CSA Working Group on Ethics is to explore and address a range of ethical concerns for which people (members of the public and practitioners) may be unprotected when public participants are involved as contributors and collaborators in various configurations of citizen science.
The nuanced and complex relationships among practitioners, individual participants, and communities can lead to ethical issues not yet fully addressed by current best practices for research with human subjects. While there are ethical codes and reasoning in fields such as ethnobotany, informatics, community health, and geography, these are great starting points (not end points) for establishing best practices in citizen science. The ethics working group will assess the landscape of ethical concern in citizen science with the goal of supporting ethics training for practitioners, for communities, and for students in higher education.
The four main objectives for this Working Group include:
- Chart the landscape of ethical issues across the spectrum of citizen science.
- Increase capacity of CSA to provide resources and training in ethics to practitioners and participants.
- Develop mechanism for CSA to support research ethics review.
- Raise awareness among greater research community about unique ethical challenges of citizen science and the need for training in ethics.