University of Pittsburgh
October 20, 2010

Pitt’s Sociology Department Offers Free One-Day Conference on Research Ethics Oct. 29


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—How vulnerable are the people academic researchers choose to study? Do institutional review boards (IRBs) go far enough in helping to protect the rights and welfare of research subjects?

These issues will be addressed in a free one-day conference at the University of Pittsburgh titled “Beyond the IRB: New Frontiers in the Ethics of Qualitative Research,” from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 29, in 2400 Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet St., Oakland.

Sponsored by Pitt’s Department of Sociology, the conference has been designed to set an agenda for ethical standards in qualitative research that extend beyond the areas currently in general use by IRBs.

“Changes in technologies, laws, and patterns of policing create new vulnerabilities for the people and social groups that are studied by social scientists,” said Kathleen Blee, chair of Pitt’s Department of Sociology. “Our conference is an opportunity to develop a new set of ethical standards that will guide qualitative research in the 21st century.”

At the conference, social science researchers from around the country will present information on ethical dilemmas they encountered while researching topics ranging from archived testimonies from Holocaust survivors to the sexuality of various ethnic groups.

For more information, call 412-648-7580 or visit

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