Science and Public Responsibility
The Need for a Science Code of Conduct?
These evolving materials are provided to encourage continuing and new thought about science and its role in culture and, in particular, about the possible need of both scientists and others to clarify the ethical responsibilities inherent in scientific research. Your thoughts are welcome in the on-line forum area below.
|Had I stood firm the scientists could have developed something like the doctor's Hippocratic Oath, a vow to use their knowledge exclusively for mankind's benefit. As things are, the best that can be hoped for is a race of inventive dwarfs who can be hired for any purpose
.... Bertold Brecht, Galileo, Scene 14
| Is science made up of "a race of inventive dwarfs who can be hired for any purpose"?
Should scientists pay more attention to and accept more responsibility for the impacts of their work?
Should scientists and others more clearly distinguish among work done for the sake of knowledge, work done for the benefit of humanity, and work done for commercial gain?
Should there be some kind of ethical code of conduct for science?
|"Perhaps the oldest and most persistently problematic ethical ambiguity in contemporary views of science relates to the question of the degree of responsibility that scientists have for the social consequences of their activities. Conceiving of science as the pursuit of "Truth", or of short-term human well-being, permits scientists a posture either of moral and ethical "neutrality" or of assumed virtue neither carefully thought through nor genuinely earned."|
- On the use of animals in research - Senior Seminar in Neural and Behavioral Science, 18 March 2008
- The Hippocratic oath
- Hippocratic oath for scientists - general
- A Hippocratic oath for scientists - editorial, Joseph Rotblat
- Universal code of ethics for scientists - England
- Scientists get their own Hippocratic oath - Canadian graduate students, 30 March 2009
- Science and public responsibility, Paul Grobstein's blog, Dec 2007
In the News (see also Supplement)
- Pentagon to consult academics on security, NYTimes, 18 June 2008
- Survey: scientific misconduct underreported, NPR, 18 June 2008
- I'm the Designer. My Clients the Autocrat. NYTimes, 22 June 2008.
- Purdue, citing research misconduct, punishes scientist, NYTimes, 27 August 2008
- Top psychiatrist didn't report drug makers pay, NYTimes, 3 October 2008
- Diagnosis: Greed, NYTimes, 9 October 2008
- The crumbling ivory tower, NYTimes, 24 February 2009
- Harvard medical school in ethics quandry, 2 March, 2009
- Advances elusive in the drive to cure cancer, NYTimes, 23 April 2009
- Do scientists compete unethically?, NYTimes, 12 May 2009
- Discredited research study stuns an ex-Army doctors colleagues, 5 June 2009
- Head case: can psychiatry be a science?, 1 March 2010
- Scientists taking steps to defend work on climate, 2 March 2010
- Darwin foes add warming to targets, 3 March 2010