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The Canadian Applied Ethics Research Nets (CAERNETS)

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From 1991 through 1997, the Centre for Applied Ethics received support from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for developing and hosting the Canadian Applied Ethics Research Networks, otherwise know as CAERNETS, which is the umbrella structure comprised of the following independent electronic networks:
Accounting Ethics Network (ACCNET)
Canadian Bioethics Network (BIOETHNET)
Canadian Business and Professional Ethics Network (CBPENET)
Sustainable Development Ethics Network (SUSTNET) (no longer active)

The success of the Canadian Business and Professional Ethics Network, which was initially funded by SSHRC from 1991-94, led to a new proposal to SSHRC for the networks named above. Early in 1994 the proposal was ranked number one in the applied ethics category and the Centre was awarded an additional three year grant. The Centre is delighted by this award, not only for the substantial financial assistance but for the recognition of the value of our efforts to date.
Purpose of CAERNETS
Membership
User Access
Management

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Purpose

CAERNETS is designed to provide a unique, cost-effective, and innovative infrastructure for Canadian applied ethics research and its dissemination. Its primary aims are to offer researchers from many disciplines easy access to a broad range of up-to-date information, services and innovative research tools, as well as a valuable link with other researchers, who, under normal circumstances would be difficult to access as they are scattered across many disciplines, professions and geographic locations.

Membership

In the attempt to enrich the quality of participation, to increase confidence and trust, and to avoid the junk mail problem, membership is by application. Network moderators review every membership application, consulting with current members as necessary. This close personal interaction allows members to be consulted on all network policy changes, such as intellectual ownership, confidentiality, and new services.

User Access

These networks can be used by all levels of computer users who have access to virtually any computer which supports electronic mail.

Management and Maintenance

The umbrella structure CAERNETS is currently managed by the staff and Faculty members at the Centre for Applied Ethics.

An Executive Moderator is responsible for the overall technical advice and support services of the networks. The current Executive Moderator is Bryn Williams-Jones. Previous moderators were: Chris MacDonald, Dale MacCrostie, and Louis Marinoff.

Each individual network is a self-governing entity which sets its own rules for membership and communication conventions. An established academic expert heads each network and reviews all membership applications.

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Accounting Ethics Network (ACCNET)

ACCNET was established in 1992 by Jim Gaa, from the University of Alberta (who was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre in 1993-94). Members include accountants, humanists, and social scientists. ACCNET is expanding internationally by opening membership to leading figures in accounting ethics in other parts of the world. This is essential because not only are there relatively few individuals working in accounting ethics in Canada, but also because of the increasing internationalization of the accounting profession. Jim Gaa continues to head this network; he can be reached by e-mail at: james.gaa@ualberta.ca

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Canadian Bioethics Network (BIOETHNET)

In response to a request by the Canadian Bioethics Society, the Centre created in 1993 a network which links its members. This large society includes academics from the health, human, and social sciences as well as health care practitioners from various health disciplines from all over Canada. BIOETHNET is particularly helpful for both researchers and practitioners to exchange information on topical issues and to learn about the latest bioethics research. They can also give and receive valuable feedback on their efforts. The network is headed by Michael Burgess, who holds the Centre's Chair in Bioethics. He can be reached by e-mail at: mburgess@ethics.ubc.ca.

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The Canadian Business and Professional Ethics Network (CBPENET)

CBPENET, the longest running network under CAERNETS, links Canadian researchers in many disciplines of business and professional ethics. Members post electronic mail to each other individually or to the whole membership list, to relate news, opinions, letters, bibliographies, reading lists, or want ads, in addition to the regular scholarly or business discussions.

Because of the success of the network, a high level of credibility has attracted key researchers from many disciplines including philosophy, commerce, management, accounting, education, administration, women's studies, applied science and engineering, religious studies, psychology, and policy analysis. While most of the current members are based in Canada, we now have members in the United States and Asia. The network is headed by Colin Boyd of the University of Saskatchewan, who was an Invited Research Fellow at the Centre in 1993-4. His e-mail address is: boyd@sask.usask.ca.

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For More Information Contact:

Bryn Williams-Jones, Executive Moderator

Centre for Applied Ethics
University of British Columbia
Computer Science Building
227-6356 Agricultural Road
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V6T 1Z2
Tel: (604) 822-8470 Fax: (604) 822-8627

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