Archive

Forbidden Research: Why We Can’t Do That

Quite often when we’re ask­ing these dif­fi­cult ques­tions we’re ask­ing about ques­tions where we might not even know how to ask where the line is. But in oth­er cas­es, when researchers work to advance pub­lic knowl­edge, even on uncon­tro­ver­sial top­ics, we can still find our­selves for­bid­den from doing the research or dis­sem­i­nat­ing the research.

Forbidden Research: Against the Law: Countering Lawful Abuses of Digital Surveillance

When I announced the talk on Twitter, some­body imme­di­ate­ly was like, Lawful abuse, isn’t that a con­tra­dic­tion?” But if you think about it for just a moment it might seem to be a lit­tle bit more clear. After all, the legal­i­ty of a thing is quite dis­tinct from the moral­i­ty of it.

Forbidden Research Welcome and Introduction: Cory Doctorow

At that moment when every­body is sud­den­ly car­ing about this stuff, that’s the moment at which nihilism can be avert­ed. It’s the moment in which nihilism must be avert­ed if you’re going to make a change. Peak indif­fer­ence is the moment when you stop con­vinc­ing peo­ple to care about an issue, and start con­vinc­ing them to do some­thing about it.

Forbidden Research Welcome and Introduction: Ethan Zuckerman

As we dug into this top­ic, we real­ized research gets for­bid­den for all sorts of rea­sons. We’re going to talk about top­ics today that are for­bid­den in some sense because they’re so big, they’re so con­se­quen­tial, that it’s extreme­ly dif­fi­cult for any­one to think about who should actu­al­ly have the right to make this deci­sion. We’re going to talk about some top­ics that end up being off the table, that end up being for­bid­den, because they’re kind of icky. They’re real­ly uncom­fort­able. And frankly, if you make it through this day with­out some­thing mak­ing you uncom­fort­able, we did some­thing wrong in plan­ning this event.

Forbidden Research Welcome and Introduction: Joi Ito

Talking to peo­ple who study the his­to­ry of sci­ence, and you look at Nobel Prize win­ners, many of them have real­ly tak­en sort of career-threatening risks in order to win Nobel Prizes. So even sci­ence, which feels like an area where you’re sup­posed to ques­tion author­i­ty and think for your­self, you actu­al­ly have to be rather risk-taking and disobedient. 

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