Ethics in Action: Engaged Ethnography in the Silver Santé Study

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Abstract/Poster in proceedingAcademic

Abstract

Over the last decades, projects in contemplative science have grown in size. Longitudinal studies, such as Tania Singer’s ReSource project and Clifford Saron’s work on shamatha, have been followed by the Silver Santé Study, the currently ‘biggest’ European meditation research project. It is a randomized controlled clinical trial with a large sample size, an 18-months intervention comparing meditation to learning English, and a heterogeneous set of measurements.
Although clinical research is highly regulated, ethical reflections should not be neglected. Discussions on ethics in research usually focus on turning ‘hard impacts’, i.e. hazards that cause noncontroversial harm, into manageable risks. However, research also has impacts that are ambiguous. These ‘soft impacts’ refer to how scientific studies change individual lives; e.g., the introduced agency of the elderly for alleviating cognitive decline. Ethical reflections on soft impacts are similarly relevant in daily research. Whenever a decision needs to be made, values are weighed against each other and put up for discussion. What counts as ‘(un)ethical’ is not fixed but fluid; it is situational, contextual, and audience specific.
The poster presents preliminary results on how ethics unfold in action and how they are entangled with work practices, institutional constraints, and material conditions. I have engaged with those involved in the Silver Santé Study to study and stimulate their ethical reflections, make them question their assumptions, widen their considerations and agency in decision-making. This method of ‘engaged ethnography’ serves a dual purpose combining knowledge production about and practice improvement within the Silver Santé Study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemplative Science Symposium
Subtitle of host publicationBeyond Confines - Integrating Science, Consciousness and Society
Pages31
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2019
EventContemplative Science Symposium: Beyond Confines - Integrating Science, Consciousness and Society - Veranstaltungsforum Fürstenfeld, Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany
Duration: 25 Nov 201927 Nov 2019
https://europeansymposium.org/frontend/index.php

Conference

ConferenceContemplative Science Symposium
Abbreviated titleCSS2019
CountryGermany
CityFürstenfeldbruck
Period25/11/1927/11/19
Internet address

Cite this

Smolka, M. (2019). Ethics in Action: Engaged Ethnography in the Silver Santé Study. In Contemplative Science Symposium: Beyond Confines - Integrating Science, Consciousness and Society (pp. 31)
Smolka, Mareike. / Ethics in Action: Engaged Ethnography in the Silver Santé Study. Contemplative Science Symposium: Beyond Confines - Integrating Science, Consciousness and Society. 2019. pp. 31
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Smolka, M 2019, Ethics in Action: Engaged Ethnography in the Silver Santé Study. in Contemplative Science Symposium: Beyond Confines - Integrating Science, Consciousness and Society. pp. 31, Contemplative Science Symposium, Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany, 25/11/19.

Ethics in Action: Engaged Ethnography in the Silver Santé Study. / Smolka, Mareike.

Contemplative Science Symposium: Beyond Confines - Integrating Science, Consciousness and Society. 2019. p. 31.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Abstract/Poster in proceedingAcademic

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Smolka M. Ethics in Action: Engaged Ethnography in the Silver Santé Study. In Contemplative Science Symposium: Beyond Confines - Integrating Science, Consciousness and Society. 2019. p. 31