Ethical Issues of Research Infrastructure: What are they and how can they be addressed?
E-infrastructures are emerging as novel and effective ways of increasing creativity and efficiency of research. As technological innovations, these virtual, ubiquitous, pervasive infrastructures offer possibilities of international collaborations through open, data-driven and high-quality computing environments. Particularly in Europe, the aim is to create an ecosystem of e-science where multiple disciplines converge to foster interoperable and open collaboration with the help of significant data processing and computing capacity. While most agree that these research infrastructures are crucial to scientific reproducibility and rigor, e-infrastructural literature lacks critical discussions on the ethical concerns they raise or potentially can raise. This paper argues that e-infrastructures can raise a number of ethical, legal and social concerns. Some of these relate to data privacy and data security but they also include issues around animal welfare, data bias, intellectual property rights, environmental sustainability, digital divide and other unintended uses/misuses. This paper also presents a practical way of thinking about ethics in e-infrastructures. The underlying argument here is that addressing e-infrastructure ethical issues should start from the design of the infrastructure and continue through to its lifecycle. It requires the integration of relevant ethical principles into its design to foster responsible use/application. We then propose that this can be done through the Responsible Research and Innovation approach as an ethics-by-design tool.
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Citation : Eke, D., Akintoye, S., Knight, W., Ogoh, G. and Stahl, B. (2020) Ethical Issues of Research Infrastructure: What are they and how can they be addressed? In: Oliva, M.A., Borondo, J.P., Murata, K., Palma, A.L. (Eds.) Societal Challenges in the Smart Society, Including proceedings of International Conference on the Ethical and Social Impact of ICT, pp. 497-510.
ISBN : 9788409202737
Research Institute : Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR)