A Pint of Ethics

A Pint of Ethics ONLINE

“This wasn’t an issue that had been covered in my CUREC application. I wondered whether I was being an ethical researcher”


We have all had moments like that during our research – where unexpected situations make us question the limits of responsible and ethical research. Often, the events that make us question our ethics are relatively innocuous daily occurrences. Examples of these “ethical instances” could include:

  • Being invited to the home of a fieldwork participant for a social event
  • Receiving gifts from fieldwork participants or host institutions
  • Being asked to raise awareness about a political situation in your fieldwork country

While researchers make commitments to protecting their research participants and the data they gather in the CUREC forms, how these daily issues fit into these broad commitments is far from clear. Researchers must often trust their own judgement in navigating these “ethical instances”. This can place unnecessary stress on the researcher, as they wonder whether they have selected the right course of action.
What is needed is an uncritical space in which to discuss “ethical instances” and seek advice from our peers. This space is Pint of Ethics, a fortnightly online meet-up hosted by the Social Sciences division. 
What is A Pint of Ethics, and how can I get involved?
 A Pint of Ethics is an online meet-up run three times a term. Join to discuss “ethical instances”, raise queries and get advice. The events will be chaired by an early career researcher, but discussion is intended to crowdsource experiences and expertise to learn from. All discussions will be conducted under Chatham House rules to protect the privacy of discussants and fieldwork participants. 

DTP students are also welcome to apply

Topics this term

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Social activism networks are increasingly involved in modern research. Not only are they the object of study for many projects, they are often co-contributors to the research and provide expert input into the research outputs. Researchers also often engage with these networks through societal engagement and research dissemination activities.
For many researchers, their involvement in social activism is an important means through which to enact societal change and ensure research impact. Nonetheless, as researchers it is important to maintain a balance between activism activities/involvement and researcher impartiality.  In this session we discuss the boundary between research and activism, and the challenges that are associated with navigating this distinction.
This session is open to all disciplines and is an opportunity to discuss research/fieldwork experiences. We aim for broad discussion about balancing personal and research expectations – particularly in cases where you have established strong friendships with collaborators and participants. These are extremely complex issues, and all opinions are welcomed!



There is an increasing amount of data being made available online for re-use. Indeed, as researchers, we are encouraged to make use of these data resources. Issues such as value for money, reproducibility and efficiency are often cited as reasons for this re-use. Nonetheless, many researchers are hesitant about re-using data from sources (organizations or individuals) that they do not know personally. These hesitations are not only about properly trusting the data sources, but also concerns about how best to give credit to the original data creators. There is also confusion surrounding open licenses, such as Creative Commons, and how to abide by them in future work. In this session we discuss and concerns around some of the issues surrounding re-use.



Interdisciplinary research is increasingly supported by research institutions and funders. Many advocates for interdisciplinarity highlight how involving multiple disciplines in research can lead to multifaceted research outcomes and accelerate socially-responsive solutions to real-world problems. Nonetheless, working interdisciplinarily can be very challenging, as researchers have to navigate different ways of conducting research, different metrics for evaluation and different vocabularies and styles of reporting. In this session we will discuss some of the challenges of interdisciplinary research and how to maintain respect and equity in interdisciplinary collaborations.


Book 30 November