Toward a new Practice of Research
Ethical Considerations on Social Experimentation

Workshop at the i3 Spring Days 2000 - Glyfada, Athens, Greece, March 1-3rd 2000



This workshop deals with the ethical considerations and implications of doing i3-type of projects. This relates both to the ethical stance one needs to take when working with 'naive' usergroups as part of the project methodology, as to the implications of deploying the project results outside of the context of the paticular project, for instance when it will be finished.

Ethical considerations pertain to all schemata in i3 (CC, CI, ESE). For instance, consider this question: what is the meaning of 'experimental' in 'Experimental School Environments'? Are we using the school as a laboratory? And what then is the experiment? Shall we throw in some technology and look at what happens, like when studying a chemical reaction? 'No, no, we're dealing with children after all. Identity protection and privacy, you know'. Unf ortunately, this starting point of protection and privacy is often no more than an ethical fringe of an essentially utilitarian position which both privileges, and is privileged by a technological rationality (and triumphalism) and an all-assuming enlight enment philosophy which legitimates a right of scientific subjugation.

The purpose of this workshop is to stimulate the debate on how to break free from the dominance (hegemony) of this kind of science which tends to imprison and consume its subjects rather than enlightening them.

The workshop is expected to confront views from - among others - sociologists, technologists, designers, educators, ethnographers and businesses.

Participants are expected to contribute a paper of at most 10 pages describing work or concrete experiences that are related to the workshop's topics. Such papers will be reviewed for the originality of their position and the way in which they may contribute to a lively discussion at the workshop. Contributions with concrete and practical implications and guidelines for working with children will be particularly favoured, as are those that challenge accepted wisdom.


Contact address for potential workshop attendees:

Last modification due to Dec. 20. 1999