The ACHEEV 2023 Symposium: Researching values in health contexts

Values are a common object of academic attention in health research, but are conceptualised and theorised in many ways.

Some disciplines offer deep theoretical resources for thinking about values: consider for example value theory in moral philosophy, or fact-value debates in the philosophy of science.

In empirical research, the values of participants can be an implicit or explicit object of study, and are approached and understood differently by researchers from different disciplines. Some methodologies—such as deliberative democratic approaches—invite participants to make cooperative judgements about value trade-offs. Others may structure data collection to explicitly elicit values, or extract implied values from participant talk in analysis.

Researchers then make decisions about how to report participant values, and about relating participant values to existing theory, and building conclusions. These issues and practices will be the focus of our conversation.

We are delighted to feature two keynote speakers at this year’s symposium.

  • Professor Kieran O’Doherty, University of Guelph, Canada: How should we understand values in deliberative contexts: Individual commitments, collective vision, or abstract principles?
  • Dr Bryan Mukandi, University of Wollongong: On the imperative, and dangers, of non-conformity.

National and international colleagues, and members of the ACHEEV team, will present papers illustrating theoretical and empirical approaches to working with values. We will end the day with a panel discussion of the affordances of different methods for researching values, and an open conversation on the question: What do we mean when we say we are researching values?