Keynote presentations

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Keynote presentations

Professor Sarah Pink: Visual Ethics in an Uncertain World: anxiety, certainty and the challenge of the unknown

The ethics of visual methods are increasingly regulated by institutionally driven ethical approval processes. There are positive aspects to this, yet there is one deep irony: in an era where applied scholarship and the need for research to have impact in and make positive change in the world is emphasized, the institutional governance of research ethics has the (perhaps unintended) consequence of limiting the potential of research, design and intervention to enter into the improvisory open-ended collaborations that enable this.

What then are the implications for visual ethics in future focused research that is concerned with the uncertain? And what can video, a medium that accompanies us as we ongoingly step over the edge of the present into the uncertainty of the future tell us about the making of ethical practice in an uncertain world?

Professor Sarah Pink is an interdisciplinary scholar working with sensory and visual ethnographies in a variety of settings: the workplace and domestic environments. Her projects span design, arts and engineering disciplines.  She has research collaborations in areas as diverse as sustainability and domestic laundry, mobile media practices in Tokyo, and the engagement of micro-organisations with occupational health and safety. Professor Pink holds positions at RMIT University which are co-located in the Design Research Institute and the Digital Ethnography Research Centre, in the School of Media and Communications.

Dr Susan Cox: From Adversaries to Allies: Necessary Conversations between Research Ethics Committees, Researchers and Research Participants

The process of obtaining ethical approval is a hurdle that must be jumped before getting on with the real work of doing research. The process is lengthy, overly concerned with minutia and may delay or even obstruct important new studies.  This threat is especially imminent when researchers propose innovative approaches to studying sensitive topics, adopt unusual methodological strategies and/or attempt to create new kinds of working relationships with vulnerable participants. Or so the adversarial story of researchers and research ethics committees goes. Drawing upon selected projects employing a range of visual and other arts-based methods, this talk will focus on describing an alternative paradigm, one in which research ethics committees, researchers and research participants become allies in the process of ensuring that research is ethically as well as methodologically sound.

Dr Susan Cox is an Associate Professor in the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics and the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She is a member of the Advisory Council for the Arts Health Network Canada and serves on the Research Ethics Board for Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Her current work with colleagues in medicine involves analysis of the role of visual art-making for medical students and its implications for professional identity and well-being. She is also collaborating with colleagues in anthropology and language and literacy to explore the use of found poetry as a mode of qualitative analysis.

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