Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Phil 7570, Spring 2007 Carol Werner (w/ Bryan Benham) Social Responsibility in Science 1.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Phil 7570, Spring 2007 Carol Werner (w/ Bryan Benham) Social Responsibility in Science 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Phil 7570, Spring 2007 Carol Werner (w/ Bryan Benham) Social Responsibility in Science 1

2 Thanks to the Faculty! Leslie Francis (Phil & Law) Kathi Mooney (Nursing) Caren Frost (Soc Work) Kim Korinek (Sociology) Rachel Hayes-Harb (Linguistics) Frank Whitby (Biochem) Tom Richmond (Chemistry) Carol Werner (Psychology) And additional presenters: Thad Hall (Poli-Sci) Dennis O’Rourke (Anthropology)

3 Facts vs. values? Science is not (strictly speaking) value-free or value-neutral –Although its aims are objective, repeatable, empirically based knowledge Science is a human enterprise…so it is value- infused –Consider how one pursues or promotes own research, how it is communicated, how decisions about funding and peer review are made, etc. –Consider history (e.g., Nazi Scientists) –Consider definition of “good science” –Consider how science is controversial

4 Science: Basic,applied,apploid Published-Not P $$ Federal/ Foundations/ Commercial Society/ politics Knowledge/ Training RCR ethics Scientists’ Values, Personality, Social milieu Some Major Sources of influence on science Social- Env. good

5 Science: Basic,applied,apploid Published-Not P $$ Federal/ Foundations/ Commercial Society/ politics Knowledge/ Training RCR ethics Scientists’ Values, Personality, Social milieu Some Major Sources of influence on science Social- Env. good

6 Scientists’ values, personality and social milieu Values –What research is important –Personal research ethics Personal Qualities –Need for achievement, competitiveness –Training and knowledge –Obedience to authority Social milieu –Pressure for grants, publications, fame –Ethical atmosphere in lab –Conformity and obedience pressure

7 Society & Politics Political Influences and social activists bring pressure on –funding –topics –publishability

8 Arthur Caplan Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania “But the greatest threat to the control and dissemination of research is this marriage with the military and anti-terrorist activities. The scientific community hasn’t given five minutes of thought to how to preserve their rights to publish and pick the topics they want. And there’s no hesitancy on the part of DARPA to say “You can’t publish” or “You can’t do this, this is ours. We own it.”

9 Controversial Science Scientific research that is, or is perceived to be, at odds with social values or goals: Topics that breach sensitive issues Cloning/Stem-cell, GM agriculture, Sex Research, etc. –Topics that are ideologically loaded IQ Research, AIDS and sexuality research, Global Warming, Evolution in Schools, etc. –Topics that are “beyond the pale of society” Torture Techniques, Head-Transplant Surgery, etc.

10 Deciding what is right Actually, the question of which type of science to fund is quite simple: Since all science is problem driven, it should be judged by the quality of the problems posed and the quality of the solutions provided. Oped Brenner, 1998, p Is this helpful?

11 How to decide?

12 Arthur Caplan Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania “You can’t get very far [in scientific research] without values appearing, even in some strictly molecular activities. I would also say that you scare the public if you continue to assert that you don’t think about the ethical aspects of what you are doing. The fear of the ‘mad’ scientist isn’t that he or she is mad, it’s that he or she is indifferent to the ethics of what they are doing.”

13

14 Angry Mob Effect Public Overreaction –Offense to Moral Sensibilities –Demonizing Science Fear –Threat to well-being –Challenge to deeply held beliefs Lack of Understanding?

15 Mad Scientist Effect Rejects Social Responsibility –Value-Free Inquiry? –Consequences not considered –Paternalism: science knows best Isolated from Society –Poorly Educates Public –(PR Failure?) –Insensitive to Social Values

16

17 We’re asked to speak up, but Does this undermine scientific integrity?

18 Adler et al.on abortion Professional organization with expertise on topic Took initiative Balancing Scientific integrity?

19 Resisting Pressures to violate your ethical core Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training/strong ethical core Social independence training

20 RCR Training & Goals of Phil 7570 The focus of the course is not merely the legal or explicit regulations, but identifying and employing the underlying ethical principles and values that guide responsible research, so that one can (ideally) navigate the rocky shoals and murky waters of daily research practice.

21 Course Objectives: Your ethical “core” 1.Increase ethical sensitivity to issues regarding RCR 2.Aid in developing moral reasoning skills via case studies 3.Acquaint with relevant policies, procedures, and professional standards of ethical research

22 Balancing Three Questions 1.What rules or principles apply? (P) 2.What are the consequences? (C) 3.Whose interests are involved? (I) PC I

23 Do research scientists have special responsibilities to society? If so, why? And what are they?

24 Whence the special responsibility to society? Scientific knowledge has a lasting impact on society. The people who produce knowledge should be responsible for its consequences and uses. Scientific knowledge is meant to benefit society. Much research is relevant to formulating public policy. Scientific knowledge should be freely/openly available to members of society (not for private/elite use only). Scientific research supported by public resources. Scientists have special knowledge and expertise not available to everyone Science is a profession, with codes of ethics that often include social obligations. Scientists are members of society (citizen-scientists).

25 Responsibility to/for… Future implications or applications of discovery? Shaping and deciding social and public policy? National and/or global interests? –defense, economy, human welfare, environment, etc.

26 Future implications or applications of discovery? Consider –Genetic testing and counseling, eugenics and sex typing

27 Shaping and deciding social and public policy? Consider –Climate science (global warming) –Stem cells and cloning –Health policy –Neurosciences and behavioral genetics in legal and social practices Science and Politics?

28 National and/or global interests? Human Welfare? –AIDS, malaria, etc. –Food, energy, etc. Environmental Values –Sustainability –Beyond sustainability Economic? –Biotech industry –Commercial innovation via discovery Defense? –WW II efforts (Manhattan project) vs. post-WWII efforts (e.g., Hydrogen bomb); cold-war? –War on Terror and Biodefense?

29 Although there is room for disagreement… In each case, the weight of these considerations favor the idea that scientists do indeed have special responsibilities to society

30 But, most importantly… because scientific research is embedded in a larger social and ethical context, and this is an essential component of scientific research: Science is not removed from society

31 Resisting Pressure Social independence training –Choose affiliations carefully –Draw on your peers for support Avoid pluralistic ignorance Avoid group think (impaired decision making) –Draw on legal support

32 Many routes to creativity Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. – Albert Einstein ( )

33 Imagination Scientific Imagination Concerned with advancing knowledge & technology Moral Imagination Concerned with understanding the implications of knowledge and technology

34 Most of what we did in this course was aimed at demonstrating that both scientific and moral imagination are important and unavoidable features of science

35 Responsibility and Imagination Understanding values Understanding implications of research Understanding the direction of science –Individually and collectively –Where it should or shouldn’t go –How it gets there

36 Responsibility and Imagination Understand that research is done within a larger social and ethical context Realize a sense of personal responsibility for one's own research and one's place in society as a researcher Can’t avoid the question of social responsibility…it is intrinsic to science

37 Imagine… If not you… who?

38 With great power, comes great responsibility. – Uncle Ben to Peter Parker in Spider-Man

39 Sources Weigmann, Katrin. (2001). In the name of science. EMBO reports 2, Breithaupt, Holger, & Hadley, Caroline. (2005). Interview with Arthur Caplan, building stairs into slippery slopes. EMBO reports 6, 8-12.

40


Download ppt "Phil 7570, Spring 2007 Carol Werner (w/ Bryan Benham) Social Responsibility in Science 1."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google