1887

Socially Responsible Science Is More than “Good Science”

    Author: Stephanie J. Bird
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 15 December 2014
    • aJohn Ladd ( 9 ) introduced this terminology, which has been expanded and enhanced by Joseph Herkert ( 7 ). It should be noted that macroethics includes decisions made by society about science and technology as well as the efforts of science and technology professionals. It should also be noted that, while consideration of social responsibility and the larger societal context of science and technology are relatively new additions to the ethics education of scientists and engineers, programs and courses in science, technology, and society (STS) have been available for decades at many universities, even though they usually have not been required for students majoring in science and engineering.
      bThe NSF proposal instructions and proposal review form ask that the proposal specifically describe and be evaluated on “the broader impacts of the proposed activity” (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2002/nsf022/bicexamples.pdf).
    • Corresponding author. Mailing address: P.O. Box 2007, Wrentham, Massachusetts 02093. Phone: 508-384-0327. E-mail: sjbird@mit.edu.
    • ©2014 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2014 vol. 15 no. 2 169-172. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.870
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    Abstract:

    The role of scientist carries an array of responsibilities. The most obvious is accurate and reliable research that can be depended upon by fellow researchers. Scientists also have a responsibility to oppose misuse or abuse in the application of research findings, and to attend to both the limitations and the foreseeable impacts of their work. In addition, as members of society, scientists have a responsibility to participate in discussions and decisions regarding the appropriate use of science in addressing societal issues and concerns, and to bring their specialized knowledge and expertise to activities and discussions that promote the education of students and fellow citizens, thereby enhancing and facilitating informed decision making and democracy.

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References & Citations

1. America COMPETES Act of 20072007[Online.] https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/hr2272#summary (Accessed 29 September 2014) (see Sections 7008 and 7009).
2. Bird SJ2014Social responsibility and research ethics: not either/or but both.Prof. Ethics Rep.27214
3. Bird SJ, Briggle A2005Research ethics1604 Mitcham CEncyclopedia of Science, Technology, and EthicsMacmillan Reference USA Detroit, MI
4. Bologna Process.2005Bologna qualifications framework.[Online.] http://www.nqai.ie/documents/bolognasummary.pdf (Accessed 29 September 2014) and http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/hogeronderwijs/bologna/qf/overarching.asp (Accessed 29 September 2014)
5. Gorovitz S1998Ethical issues in graduate education.Sci. Eng. Ethics4223525010.1007/s11948-998-0053-7 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11948-998-0053-7
6. Gustafsson B, Wallensteen P, Ryden L, Tibell G1984The Uppsala Code of Ethics for Scientists.J. Peace Res.214311316(see also http://www.codex.uu.se/en/texts/Uppsala%20codex.pdf [Accessed 29 September 2014]).10.1177/002234338402100401 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/002234338402100401
7. Herkert JR2005Ways of thinking about and teaching ethical problem solving: microethics and macroethics in engineering.Sci. Eng. Ethics11337338510.1007/s11948-005-0006-316190278 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11948-005-0006-3
8. Kline R2013Teaching social responsibility for the conduct of research.IEEE Tech. Soc. Mag.Summer2013525810.1109/MTS.2013.2259331 http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MTS.2013.2259331
9. Ladd J1980The quest for a code of professional ethics: an intellectual and moral confusion154159 Chalk R, Frankel MS, Chafer SBAAAS Professional Ethics Project: Professional Ethics Activities in the Scientific and Engineering SocietiesAAASWashington, DC
10. Longino H1990Science as social knowledge: values and objectivity in scientific inquiryPrinceton University PressPrinceton, New Jersey
11. National Society of Professional Engineers.2007Code of Ethics for Engineers.[Online.] http://www.nspe.org/resources/ethics/code-ethics (Accessed 29 September 2014)
12. Office of Management and Budget1993Government Performance Results Act of 1993[Online.] http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/mgmt-gpra/gplaw2m
13. Sarewitz D1996Frontiers of illusion: science, technology, and the politics of progressTemple University PressPhiladelphia, PAix
14. Schlossberger E1997The responsibility of engineers, appropriate technology, and lesser developed nations.Sci. Eng. Ethics3331732610.1007/s11948-997-0038-y http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11948-997-0038-y
15. Turkle S2011Alone together: why we expect more from technology and less from each otherBasic BooksNew York, NY
16. Zandvoort H, Børsen T, Deneke M, Bird SJ2013Editors’ overview—perspectives on teaching social responsibility to students in science and engineering.Sci. Eng. Ethics1941219123810.1007/s11948-013-9495-7 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11948-013-9495-7
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.870
2014-12-15
2017-11-22

Abstract:

The role of scientist carries an array of responsibilities. The most obvious is accurate and reliable research that can be depended upon by fellow researchers. Scientists also have a responsibility to oppose misuse or abuse in the application of research findings, and to attend to both the limitations and the foreseeable impacts of their work. In addition, as members of society, scientists have a responsibility to participate in discussions and decisions regarding the appropriate use of science in addressing societal issues and concerns, and to bring their specialized knowledge and expertise to activities and discussions that promote the education of students and fellow citizens, thereby enhancing and facilitating informed decision making and democracy.

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