25 Jun

Webinar: Ethical Dilemmas in Genealogy

Thursday, June 25, 2020 - 5:30pm
Dr. Penny Walters
Event Location: 
Online Webinar
Event Sponsor: 
New York Genealogical and Biographical Society

This session discusses what ethics and morality mean, and what these have to do with genealogy. ‘I’m just compiling our family tree, what can go wrong?’ Ethical dilemmas in genealogy came to the forefront since law enforcement utilised information from GEDMatch to apprehend a suspected serial killer.

This created a division in the genealogy field about invasion of privacy. However, other ethical dilemmas include: discovering secrets, lies, bigamy, enslavement (enslaved ancestors or those involved in the slave trade), unexpected ethnicities, unexpected DNA relatives, relatives that aren’t now related, and issues surrounding glossing over the ‘bad’ things when compiling the narrative.

Many people have to struggle through ethical dilemmas on their own, so attendees at this session will benefit from considering ethical issues with more empathy and sensitivity.

This webinar will be recorded for NYG&B member access.

About the Presenter

Dr. Penny Walters is a Psychology and Business Studies University lecturer in the UK. Penny lectures internationally, appears in webinars and writes articles about a variety of genealogy topics. Penny is the author of 'Ethical Dilemmas in Genealogy,' (2019) and ‘The Psychology of Searching’ (2020). 

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