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Journal of Information Ethics ; 32(1):27-41, 2023.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-20244724


The limited participation of African Americans in clinical trials has been a topic of discussion among medical and scientific researchers for some time. With the testing of coronavirus vaccines, this discussion has continued, particularly given the disproportionate impact of the virus on members of the African American community. With the public health goal of achieving widespread or "herd" immunity, the concept of "vaccine hesitancy" has also been addressed with regard to the population in general, and in relation to the African American community, among others. Vaccine hesitancy has been reported among groups from healthcare workers to rural residents to the poor. As is the case with all segments of society, African Americans are not monolithic. However, there are aspects of the issue of vaccine hesitancy which are unique and specific to the African American community in the U.S. In particular, the nature of the information about the coronavirus itself and about the vaccine, and importantly, the increasing availability of the information about the Tuskegee experiment, Henrietta Lacks, and other cases, along with the prevalence of misinformation and disinformation on aspects of science, such as that involving vaccines, are relevant to understanding the nature of vaccine hesitancy among African Americans.

Journal of Information Ethics ; 31(2):38-47, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2198216


At present, economic inequality is one of the most pervasive social justice issues. Income inequality and disparities in wealth, in the U.S. and the world, are well-documented. Data also indicate the U.S. is an exception as a country where upward mobility is declining (Foroohar). This discussion takes place in the context of a U.S. society, which has been described as a meritocracy. Despite the fact that the Coronavirus pandemic has both revealed and heightened economic and other disparities in society, research indicates the widespread perception that attaining "the American Dream" is based solely on hard work and commitment. Similarly, public perceptions appear to be affecting recruitment in skilled, blue-collar occupations, which have, historically, provided access to the middle class for many people. In this context, Dirty Jobs television host Mike Rowe described the value of "a workforce that's trained for jobs that actually exist" (Caprino). A key aspect of the development of the public library in the U.S. is related to fostering access to information to support individuals' full participation in society. This informational and educational role of the library has been key in supporting societal engagement and upward mobility over time, including in increasing awareness of and preparation for employment opportunities.

Journal of Information Ethics ; 30(1):5-9, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1308248


The concept of economic inequality considers issues of both income inequality and gaps in wealth. The economic prosperity of recent years is said to have benefited most groups, with those earning lower wages benefiting the most. A few key research findings characterize the level of disparity in income and wealth between the poor and low wage workers and others. Reportedly, "only 0.1% of US minimum Wage Workers Can Afford a 1-Bedroom Apartment" 'in any US state without being what the government calls "burdened". The research also indicates that those earning the lowest wages are also in the most tenuous situations economically. These are individuals who are among the "Millions of Americans [Who] Are One Missed Paycheck Away from Poverty". In addition, the wealth gap in the US is substantial and growing. A special Report published in The Economist, entitled "The Rich, the Poor and the Growing Gap Between Them," noted that "The gap between rich and poor is bigger than in any other advanced country". And while wealth inequality is evidenced around the world, as a growing problem, a substantial portion of the research indicates that the US is a rare example in which upward mobility is declining.