Abstract # 29:

Scheduled for Friday, August 10, 2001 01:30 PM-04:00 PM: Session 9 (University Hall 157) Workshop


L. Sheeran
Dept. of Anthropology, California State University-Fullerton, P.O. Box 6846, Fullerton, CA 92834
      Primatologists face a variety of ethical dilemmas whether working in captive or field settings. These may include actual or potential harm to our study subjects, difficulty working in another culture and with colleagues from other cultural perspectives, challenges to our scientific integrity, and concern for the physical, psychological, and emotional well being of our subjects. While ethical challenges in primatological research cannot be eliminated, the skillful researcher develops strategies to minimize or prevent such problems. This workshop assembles a panel of experienced primatologists. Ethical dilemmas are focused on practical issues of captive maintenance, including sanctuary, zoo, and laboratory settings. The code of ethics adopted by the American Society of Primatologists establishes the foundation from which workshop discussions proceed. The American Association of Anthropologists (AAA) has developed a framework for discussing ethical issues and sponsoring workshops on ethics, and this framework is used here. Each workshop panelist presents an ethical dilemma or scenario drawn from her or his experience. A second panelist comments on the dilemma. Audience members then have an opportunity to discuss a possible solution to the problem and how it might have been prevented. The presenting panelist describes the solution adopted and the outcome of the problem. The workshop moderator facilitates the discussion of the scenario, with five or six scenarios presented during the course of the workshop. Ethical problems have multiple solutions and consensus on particular issues may be difficult or impossible to reach. This workshop is intended to promote education of aspiring primatologists and to help them proactively model likely problems and possible responses in research planning stages. Discussions of ethics may also prove useful to seasoned primatologists switching to new research settings or to primatologists who have confronted complicated issues and wished for some guidance on how to minimize them. The workshop will close with a brief survey that allows participant feedback on whether ethics workshops should be a regular part of ASP meetings, the utility of ASP maintaining an archive of ethical dilemmas with expert commentaries, and the potential benefit (as an educator or student) of educational materials available from the ASP website. [PARTICIPANTS: T. Bettinger, J. Bielitzki, R. Harrison, N. Rosen, L. Smith]