News & events



20 August 2015
13:30 - 15:00


Prof. Deborah Posel, Institute for Humanities in Africa, University of Cape Town
Prof. Fiona Ross, Anthropology, School of African and Gender Studies, Anthropology and Linguistics, University of Cape Town.

Date:  Thursday, 20 August   
Time: 13:30  – 15:00
Venue:    VCRs, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of DST.

There is mounting pressure internationally and here in South Africa to follow more rigorous procedures to secure ethical clearance for research with human subjects.  In principle, the improved ethical regulation of research is to be welcomed  but typically, the priorities driving the process are technical and bureaucratic – with relatively little attention paid to the substantive and difficult ethical issues that researchers are likely to confront in the course of the research.  ‘Ethical Quandaries in Social Research’ is unusual, if not unique, in focusing on ethical quandaries that have arisen in the course of a range of different fieldwork settings. 

These are narrated in the first person, by the researchers concerned.  Straddling a wide range of disciplines and methodologies, these  accounts open up the complex ethical conundrums that resist ready or simple resolution on the basis of professional ethical guidelines alone.  Inevitably, social research is also an encounter with one’s personal ethics, as much as a matter of navigating the tensions that  often inhere between profesional guidelines.  In this  seminar, we hope to open up these issues – and their implications for how we conduct and supervise social research.

The seminar may be attended in Pretoria, Cape Town or Durban

RSVP by 19 August

Cape Town: Carmen August (021) 466 7827,   12th Floor, Plein Park Building, Plein Street, Cape Town
Durban: Ridhwaan Khan (031) 242 5400,   1st Floor, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor
Pretoria: Arlene Grossberg (012) 302 2811,  1st  Floor, HSRC Building, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria