Demystifying the technology important for obtaining trust of HomeSense participants

Nigel Gilbert at NCRM Festival 2016

Six months into the HomeSense project, Professor Nigel Gilbert outlined the “interesting ethics issues” then needing to be answered before the required data collection could responsibly get underway in participants’ homes.

As described in his presentation, ‘The Ethics of Sensors’, for the 2016 NCRM Research Methods Festival at University of Bath, the ambition of HomeSense is to enable social researchers to use digital sensors alongside self-reported methods or observations. The project is also assessing the extent to which householders might accept sensors in their homes for research, and the final output will be a set of guidelines for use in such studies.

More refined or automated applications of digital sensors in social research could, it’s hoped, lead to more effective enabling of assisted living and tele-care services, or more efficient use of energy. But before there could be any rush to implement sensors in homes, some obvious, and less obvious, questions of ethics needed to be addressed. Continue reading “Demystifying the technology important for obtaining trust of HomeSense participants”

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NCRM Research Methods Festival 2018 to feature progress on Sensors in social research

The newly announced provisional programme of the eighth biennial Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Research Methods Festival 2018, to be held at Bath University July, will, for the first time, include sessions themed around the National Centre for Research Methods’ (NCRM) Methodological Innovation Strand.

Kicking off the first morning of the three day event (as one of eight scheduled parallel themed discussions) will be presentations and demonstrations of the HomeSense project — to be convened by University of Surrey’s Dr Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir and Professor Nigel Gilbert.

The Sensors in social research session on Tuesday 3 July, at 10:00 to 12:30 will report progress and findings of the HomeSense sensor-based study of social life and potentially sensitive settings.

Continue reading “NCRM Research Methods Festival 2018 to feature progress on Sensors in social research”

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