Professional ethics in biological anthropology: How to approach an ethical dilemma

Sponsored by the AAPA Ethics Committee. Day/time: Thursday, April 12,  12:15 PM – 2:15PM. Room: Foothill 2, Organizers: Jennifer Eyre (New York University). Maximum attendance: 45

 This workshop will provide a forum for AAPA members to discuss challenging — and, often sensitive, — ethical issues. By critically thinking through case study exercises, members of the Ethics Committee will engage their colleagues in discussions about current ethical issues within our profession.

The workshop will begin with a brief introduction by members of the AAPA Ethics Committee who will explain the committee’s purpose and services to the AAPA membership. This will be followed by an introduction of case studies pertaining to biological anthropology. The introduction will culminate in a short discussion of strategies for teaching ethics in the classroom.

In the primary workshop activity, participants will be working in small groups to respond to hypothetical ethical scenarios specific to biological anthropology. The purpose of this activity is to foster discussion among members regarding how participants’ various backgrounds, experiences, and positions affect their reactions to, and recommendations for, handling such situations. The case study scenarios provided for discussion will touch upon fieldwork, sexual harassment, mental health, interpersonal relationships, and sub-discipline-specific topics. Each group will work through a case study of their choice. They will each be provided with a written system for in-depth consideration of ethical situations. This activity will end with a whole group discussion about small group responses to highlight common themes, differences and similarities in responses.

At the end of the workshop there will be a chance for confidential discussions with members of the Ethics Committee. Ethics consultations provide an opportunity to discuss a specific matter with one or more members of the Ethics Committee who will listen to concerns and help reason through possible options to resolve them. The Ethics Committee is a non-adjudicative body. Ethics consultations do not involve investigations of misconduct, hearing of grievances, or resolution of disputes.   

The workshop is designed for all AAPA members interested in ethical dilemmas and case studies in the field of Biological Anthropology