Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Ethics & Citizen Science

Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH)

October 5, 2017

PEPH Webinar: Ethics & Citizen Science

When conducting research in partnership with community residents, we have many different ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) to consider. The field of environmental public health has been addressing these implications since the emergence and use of community-based participatory research approaches in the late 1990s. With the growing interest in citizen science, this critical topic once again has come to the forefront based on the concerns of academic researchers about the contributions of citizen scientists, as well as the concerns of citizen scientists regarding respect and their involvement in the research process. In this webinar, we heard from two presenters who summarized some of these ELSI issues and who discussed what the opportunities are for moving forward to identify and fill potential gaps in citizen science.



Kelly Edwards, Ph.D.

Kelly Edwards, Ph.D., serves as the Associate Dean for Student and Postdoctoral Affairs at the University of Washington Graduate School, working to support over 14,000 graduate students and 1,100 postdocs across three campuses. She is also a Professor in the Department of Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Washington School of Medicine and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. Additionally, she served for over a decade as core faculty for the Institute for Public Health Genetics and as Community Outreach and Engagement Core Director for the UW Center for Excellence in Environmental Health. Dr. Edwards received an M.A. in Medical Ethics and a Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Education from the University of Washington. Her work has focused on the ethics of partnerships and collaborations, public engagement, social and environmental justice, and our learning environments and research institutions as sites of transformation and innovation. She has served as an investigator in several NIH grants and is an advisor to committees of the National Cancer Institute, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Academies of Sciences. Nationally, Dr. Edwards is an advocate for public engagement, science communication, and novel partnerships, particularly through her work as a Council Member with the non-profit Genetic Alliance. She is a daily bicycle commuter when not heading to her home in the Methow Valley.

Lisa Rasmussen, Ph.D.

Lisa Rasmussen, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University North Carolina - Charlotte and is also an Auxiliary Faculty Member in Health Psychology and a Center Faculty Affiliate with the Center for Professional and Applied Ethics. Her main research areas are clinical ethics consultation and research ethics, and she teaches mainly in the areas of bioethics, research ethics, and ethical theory. She also edits the Philosophy and Medicine book series, published by Springer. In July 2017, she organized an NSF-funded workshop on “Ethical Issues in Citizen Science Research,” held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

We want your feedback!

Send comments, questions, and suggestions for future webinar topics to

to Top