When science, customer service, and human subjects research collide. Now what?

Mary L. Gray wrote a long essay for ethnographymatters that argues that technology builders and interface designers, data scientists and ethnographers (working in industry and at universities alike) “are now, officially, doing human subjects research”.

She argues that all these professionals now really need “to sit down together and talk” on topics such as “data sharing and users’ rights to the drop in public funding for basic research itself.”

We also need, she says, “a thoughtful, compassionate conversation among those who are or will be training the next generation of researchers studying social media”.

She also provides “some background to orient us and the people who pay our research bills (and salaries) to this new reality.”

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