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← Who matters (or should) when scientists engage in ethical decision-making?

AsylumWarden's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by AsylumWarden

1.Do you feel like you have an interest in what science and scientists are up to? If so, how would you describe that interest? If not, why not?

Yes, mainly because I am a scientist myself and as such find it interesting in general to know what else is going on in the field.

2.Do you think scientists should treat “the public” as an interested party when they try to make ethical decisions? Why or why not?

Scientists have a duty to ensure no one is harmed as a result of their research. Results of research simply show what is. It is then for society to decide how to best ethically deal with it. e.g. coming up with solutions for climate change is ethical. Denying it is happening to avoid having to do anything is unethical.

3.If you think scientists should treat “the public” as an interested party when they try to make ethical decisions, what should scientists be doing to get an accurate read on the public’s interests?

This is a tricky one because on so many subjects such as evolution and climate change, so much of the public is woefully misinformed by well-funded propaganda by people whose positions are under threat from the results of some of these research areas. General scientific education needs improving drastically!

4.And, for the sake of symmetry, do you think members of the public ought to take account of the interests of science or scientists when they try to make ethical decisions? Why or why not?

What needs to be understood is that science simply 'is'. It is not good or evil, liberal or conservative, communist or capitalist, etc etc... It is simply the study of the way things are. Reality should always be considered when making any sort of decision. Buying a new Ferrari may be a good decision if you want a new car, but if you are only just managing to balance the books each month this certain reality has to be taken into account to tell you it is a bad idea!

Tue, 24 Apr 2012 16:37:01 UTC | #937030