Marya's comments bring to mind something that Mark Twain once said: "It is
in fact true that clothes make the man. Naked people have litle or no
influence on society."
I, for one, believe that this kind of discussion is vital to the future of
SNA.I appreciate the conversation today.
I look forward to it's continuation.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Marya Doerfel" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, August 15, 2002 1:50 PM
Subject: networks and ethics
> When I was a student, I remember reading and discussing the ethics of
social research as being akin to what nuclear scientists do. On one hand, a
result of such research provides solutions to saving people's lives in the
form of nuclear medicine. On the other hand, a result of such research is
the bomb and other terrifying weapons of mass destruction.
> In the case of SNA, like much research that is out there, we face similar
ethical dilemmas. Do we want to forego rich understanding of social
relationships because such knowledge gets into the wrong hands? Do we want
to be part of research--like that of the Army's--so that we can have a
chance to intellectually and ethically influence such endeavors?
> Indeed, knowledge is powerful, and particularly so with information that
we amass from conducting SNA. So, where are the ethical considerations in
our academic papers? Are there ethical publications like position pieces
about our academic responsibility as SNA researchers, in particular?
> In sum, I guess my contribution is this-- Do members of the SNA community
include ethical discussions in their workshops, classrooms, and
publications? And if so, I'd love to see those references posted to this
> Marya Doerfel