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Research Ethics @ Noon

Grad Students and Postdocs: Join us for a new drop-in series about research ethics, open to grad students and postdocs across the university. Each session will feature a Stanford researcher talking candidly about an ethical issue in his or her work. Come to ask related questions (you can submit one anonymously in advance if you wish), to share ethical dilemmas you've faced, or just to listen to the conversation.

Talks will be from 12 to 1 p.m. and lunch will be served. Space is limited, so RSVPs are required for each talk. RSVP links will be added below about one month in advance of each session. For questions about the series, please email Anne Newman.

Upcoming Talks

Tuesday, January 15: Jelena Obradović, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education
"Ethical dilemmas in studying resilience in vulnerable children"

Jelena Obradović is Associate Professor in the Developmental and Psychological Sciences program in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in psychophysiology at the University of British Columbia. Obradović is a recipient of an Early Career Research Contribution Award from the Society for Research in Child Development, a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar Award, and a Jacobs Foundation Advanced Research Fellowship. Together with her collaborators, Obradović studies processes that contribute to resilience in diverse groups of children, including immigrant youth, inner-city children from high-risk, low-income backgrounds, and children living in rural Pakistan. Her research examines how the interplay of children’s physiological stress arousal, self-regulatory skills, and the quality of caregiving environments contributes to children’s health, learning and well-being over time.
Tuesday, January 29: Michael Bernstein, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
"Ethics in Mechanical Turk, the Gig Economy, and the Future of Work"
Michael Bernstein is Assistant Professor of computer science at Stanford University, where he is a member of the Human-Computer Interaction group. His research focuses on the design of crowdsourcing and social computing systems. His research has received numerous best paper awards at premier computing venues, and his Ph.D. students have gone on both to industry (e.g. Adobe Research, Facebook Data Science) and faculty positions (e.g. Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley). Bernstein has been recognized as a Robert N. Noyce Family Faculty Scholar, and has received an NSF CAREER award, an Outstanding Academic Title citation from the American Library Association, and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship. He holds a bachelor's degree in symbolic systems from Stanford University, and a master's and Ph.D. in computer science from MIT.
Monday, February 11: Mitchell Stevens, Associate Professor of Education
Title TBD

Mitchell L. Stevens is Associate Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Organizational Behavior and Sociology at Stanford. He studies the organization of US higher education, the quantification of academic performance, and alternative school forms. The author of prize-winning studies of home education and selective college admissions, he currently is writing a book about how US research universities organize research and teaching about the rest of the world. He serves as the third Director of the Scandinavian Consortium for Organizational Research, a cooperative institution that has brought more than 500 scholars to Stanford over a quarter century and catalyzes organizational scholarship worldwide.

Monday, April 29: Katharine Mach, Senior Research Scientist, Earth System Science
Title TBD

Katharine Mach is a Senior Research Scientist at Stanford University, an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and a Visiting Investigator at the Carnegie Institution for Science. She leads the Stanford Environment Assessment Facility (SEAF). Advancing foundations for action, her research is focused on integrative assessment of climate change risks and response options. The goal is innovating and evaluating new approaches to assessment, simultaneously applying them to inform decisions and policy. Priorities include methods for integrating evidence, applying expert judgment, and communicating resulting syntheses of knowledge. From 2010 until 2015, Mach co-directed the scientific activities of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which focuses on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. This work culminated in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report and its Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. The associated global scientific collaborations have supported diverse climate policies and actions, including the Paris Agreement. Mach received her Ph.D. from Stanford and A.B. from Harvard College.

More talks for winter and spring quarters are being planned and will be announced shortly.

Past Talks

Monday, October 8: Michael Frank, Associate Professor of Psychology
“Reproducibility and the ethics of data management”
Michael C. Frank is Associate Professor of psychology at Stanford University. After completing his Ph.D. from MIT in Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 2010, he joined the faculty at Stanford. He studies language use and language learning, and how these interact with social cognition, focusing especially on early childhood. He is the organizer of the ManyBabies Consortium, a collaborative-replication network for infancy research, and has led open-data projects including Wordbank and MetaLab. He has been recognized as a "rising star" by the Association for Psychological Science. His dissertation received the Glushko Prize from the Cognitive Science Society, and he is recipient of the FABBS Early Career Impact award and a Jacobs Advanced Research Fellowship. Frank has served as Associate Editor for the journal Cognition, member and chair of the Governing Board of the Cognitive Science Society, and was a founding executive committee member of the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science.

Tuesday, December 4: Angèle Christin, Assistant Professor of Communication
“Ethical dilemmas in ethnographic work about the effects of algorithms”

Angèle Christin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and an affiliated faculty member in the Sociology Department and Program in Science, Technology, and Society at Stanford University. She studies how algorithms and analytics transform professional values, expertise and work practices. Her book project focuses on the case of web journalism, analyzing the growing importance of audience metrics (clicks) in web newsrooms in the United States and France. Drawing on ethnographic methods, Christin examines how American and French journalists make sense of traffic numbers in different ways, which in turn has distinct effects on the production of news in the two countries. In a new project, she studies the construction, institutionalization and reception of predictive algorithms in the U.S. criminal justice system. She published two books to date: an ethnographic analysis of a criminal court in the outskirts of Paris (Emergency Hearings: An Inquiry on Judiciary Practice, La Découverte, 2008) and an examination of recent theoretical and methodological trends in sociological research in the United States (Contemporary Sociology in the United States, with E. Ollion, La Découverte, 2012). Christin also worked on a statistical study of music taste and cultural participation in the United States and France, funded by the French Ministry of Culture. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University and the EHESS (Paris) in 2014. She is an affiliate at the Data & Society Research Institute.