Ethics Working Group

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Welcome to the Ethics Working Group

The objectives of the Ethics Working Group are:

  1. Chart the landscape of ethical issues across the spectrum of citizen science.
  2. Increase the capacity of CSA to provide resources and training in ethics to practitioners and participants.
  3. Develop mechanisms for CSA to support research ethics review.
  4. Raise awareness among the greater research community about unique ethical challenges of citizen science and the need for training in ethics.

If you want to avoid reinventing the wheel, you can turn to the Ethics Working Group for tools that professional scientists typically access through their employers (e.g. training, open-licensed consent forms). The Ethics Working Group also serves as a community through which you can share best practices for involving the general public in the ethical design and review of research studies and facilities, and it can help citizen scientists and practitioners mobilize around the ethical risks and opportunities that would arise from the continued growth of citizen science (e.g. anticipating impact to current laws).
You can contact us through our digital question and suggestion box. Questions range from the ethics of human subjects and animal subjects to professional ethics, responsible technology use and sustainability. Our group is still evolving, so we are not yet able to answer the full range of questions personally, and one of our first priorities is to identify resources to whom we can refer citizen scientists who have questions we cannot answer ourselves.
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