Social scientists have to get better at recognising and responding to ethical problems. Although economists, political scientists and psychologists have not been responsible for the same level of abuses that have occurred in biomedical research, the social sciences have witnessed their share of old-fashioned scandalous behaviour. New ways of working in our disciplines, as well as broader social, political and economic shifts in our societies, bring their own ethical dilemmas. Some issues are familiar. How do researchers secure sensitive data when their institutions use cloud computing – particularly as we learn more about the information-gathering capabilities of national intelligence agencies? Other issues such as research connected to big data and human-computer interactions have brought up new ethical questions. These are also relevant for scientific disciplines that are gathering social science data as they study interactions between technology and people.
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