Charles Alan Taylor, Ph. D.
Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College
SPRINGFIELD , Mo. , April 11, 2007 — Charles Ess, Drury distinguished research professor in Interdisciplinary Studies and professor of philosophy and religion, has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Social and Economic Sciences - Ethics and Values of Science Engineering and Technology Program.
The grant will continue research in Internet research ethics — specifically, how well Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), charged with ethics oversight of university-based research projects in the United States, understand and are able to resolve the distinctive ethical dilemmas that arise when researchers from a range of disciplines undertake research into how people use the internet. The goal is to develop an overview of how well IRBs address the ethical dimensions of Internet research — and to provide a wide range of resources to help IRBs do so more effectively.
The $149,999 grant will support a two-year collaborative project on Internet Research ethics with Elizabeth Buchanan at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Among the research that will be funded by the grant:
1. Conduct an exhaustive survey research studies that contextualize Internet research ethics and establish benchmarks in the field;
2. Develop and provide the most comprehensive online clearinghouse available of educational and bibliographic resources for theoretical and practical aspects of Internet research ethics;
3. Open the discussion with policymakers through such formal organizations as the National Science Foundation and American Association for the Advancement of Science to help direct the discussion of Internet research ethics within the framework of the Code of Federal Regulations.
In addition, the grant will support a new online journal, the International Journal of Internet Research Ethics.
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