Monday, 16 April 2007

Ethics Report


In an email dated Jan. 25, 2007 Professor Simon Emmerson gave me approval to start my interviews, but asked me to make some “tweaks” to my Ethics Approval form, which I promptly did. In an email dated Jan. 26, 2007 Professor Simon Emmerson agreed that it would not be necessary for any of my Japanese interviewees to sign documents but that I should explain their rights, which I did.

On Feb. 2nd, 2007 I sent an email to Kate Pullinger confirming that I had posted onto her three copies of the Ethics Approval form (for herself, Professor Sue Thomas and Professor Simon Emmerson). On Feb. 15, 2007 Kate Pullinger sent me a message confirming that she had received and signed my Ethics Approval forms.

Due to some confusion at DMU over the Ethics Approval form, I emailed Professor Sue Thomas, Kate Pullinger and Professor Simon Emmerson to explain that DMU would have to provide me with documents in honorific Japanese if it was crucial that I get the official seal of Dr. Mori (Japanese generally do not use a signature, but an official seal). At this point I had already interviewed Dr. Masahiro Mori, Timothy N. Hornyak and Dr. Robert M. Geraci. On March 17, 2007 Professor Simon Emmerson sent me email to confirm that he had waived the need for the Ethics Approval form to be signed.

It was explained to all of my interviewees that I am a part-time student with De Montfort University in the UK, studying for an MA in Creative Writing & New Media, and that I was working on a research project on robots/artificial intelligence. I initially called Dr. Mori’s office and spoke to his secretary in Japanese explaining who I was, the project and the ethical rules under which the interview could take place. This was all then conveyed to Dr. Mori who agreed to an interview at his office. Mr. Timothy N. Hornyak, Dr. Hiroshi Kobayashi and Dr. Robert M. Geraci were initially contacted by email. They were very interested in the project and also understood that they were not under any duress to answer any of my questions.

All interviewees took part in the project on a voluntary basis. Dr. Mori and Dr. Kobayashi also granted me permission to use information for future newspaper and magazine articles. I have not used the emailed quotes received from Dr. Geraci. I have quoted from his academic paper instead.