Operational Ethics for Disaster Research

November 2005 (VOL. 23, NO. 3)

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Operational ethics for disaster research is suggested as an important area for further investigation. The main questions are suggested as: \r\n1. Could carrying out disaster research interfere with disaster and risk management activities?\r\n2. Could publishing disaster research interfere with disaster and risk management activities?\r\n3. Should researchers take responsibility for the operational outcomes of their research?\r\nThe example of technical rescue illustrates how these questions might be addressed in order to better understand operational ethics for disaster research. Experiences from field work on active volcanoes are presented as a research area where operational ethics have been applied, although improvements are needed. Researcher good governance is an approach which consolidates many of the issues discussed. Although disaster researchers might feel that no further governance steps are necessary, these questions should be openly debated.\r\n