Patchy ethics?

March 10, 2016

While I am pleased that Times Higher Education is reporting on the problem of “real-life” ethical issues in PhD fieldwork, I was concerned by the article’s conclusion: that universities should consider including candid experiences in their curricula (“Studying for a PhD: students reveal ethical dilemmas”, News, 3 March). During my anthropology PhD at University College London, this topic was extensively and engagingly covered during staff presentations and debated during student seminars. Rather more recently, last term I was a member of a panel on the Royal College of Art’s research methods course, which explored the issues of negotiating ethics in fieldwork practice, while this term I was invited to Goldsmiths, University of London, to give an open presentation on the issues of collaborative fieldwork, specifically including the real ethical issues that this entails. With these examples in mind, I would contend that Nadia deGama’s statement on including candid experiences in curricula is true only so far as it describes the educational failings of institutions that she and her co-authors studied at, rather than a general malaise across academia.

Peter Oakley
Research leader and senior research fellow
Royal College of Art


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together