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Accepted Contribution:

Creating more just & equitable science requires diverse collaborative practices  
Chessa Adsit Morris (University of California, Santa Cruz) James Karabin (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Short abstract:

As STS scholars are called on to engage beyond observation and critique to take up more normative and integrative work, this paper explores what STS can learn from ELSI scholars as we work towards fostering more diverse collaborative practices aimed at creating more just and equitable STEM research.

Long abstract:

Both STS scholars and ethicists are beginning to understand that creating more just and equitable science requires different modes of collaboration. One dominant mode of collaborative engagement in the U.S. has been through the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) framework, where ELSI scholars have generated approaches for grappling with and addressing normative ethical concerns. While ELSI has furthered the “integration of ethics” into STEM research, it has also long been critiqued for its narrow orientations, practices and impacts, which have largely been facilitative of STEM research and limited in its ability to center issues of justice and equity. Drawing on a review of gray literature and interviews with key stakeholders (including funding agency program staff and ELSI scholars) we explore the expectations and experiences of ELSI scholars doing this normative and integrated ethics work. We analyze their experiences and practices in relation to ELSI’s broader organizational configurations and its development as a form of moral expertise. As STS scholars and others are called on to engage beyond observation and critique to take up more normative work, we believe that learning from/with the experiences of ELSI and ELSI scholars can be fruitful and (in)formative for exploring the possibilities of STS to contribute to broader projects of justice and equity. These findings and reflections are part of a broader ongoing research project aimed at clarifying, reviewing, and revitalizing the roles and value of STS scholars, bioethicists, humanists, and artists in collaborative STEM research.

Combined Format Open Panel P164
STS & ethics: encounters on common ground
  Session 1 Thursday 18 July, 2024, -