Social Responsibility of Scientists in the Technological Age: Papers from the AAAS Pacific Division Symposium Hawaii, USA, 2017


Raghavan Jayakumar (Editor)
Lawrence Livermore National Lab, CA, US

Jesse J. Thomas (Editor)
San Diego State University

Series: Ethical Issues in the 21st Century
BISAC: PHI005000

The technological age has brought unprecedented benefits to society. Given the scope and speed of these developments, though, society may not have the ability and time to fully understand long-term impacts and react appropriately. For example, DDT, upon the discovery of its anti-arthropod activities, was widely used to help control diseases such as malaria. It was only years later that its sinister side was realized with the discovery that it accumulated within food chains, causing reproductive failure in bird populations and problems in other species.

The development of CFCs led to widespread use of these compounds as refrigerants, only to later be determined a causative factor in the development of holes in the ozone layer. The development of newer chemicals such as neonicotinoids for insect control and glyphosate and atrazine for weed control has environmentalists worried that sensitive ecosystems and even entire biospheres may be endangered by these newer chemical and genetic engineering technologies. The thesis of this symposium is that science, as an expression of human life, should embody ethics and responsibility. Technology, being an outcome of science, should be considered a scientific responsibility. This symposium will focus on the approach scientists and technologists might take to fulfill this responsibility by discussing such questions as:

Should scientists and technologists adopt the principle of “First, do no harm”?

Should scientists assume responsibility for the consequences of their research and control technological development, or leave it to others such as funding agencies and corporations?

How can scientists help society with risk assessment in order to help shape public policy on science and technology?

How can scientists help stake-holders develop holistic solutions that protect the environment?

How can scientists ensure that genetic and cyber technologies do not imperil human dignity and human rights?

How can present and future scientists be educated on the risks of various newer technologies and their social responsibilities toward them? (Novinka)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Social Responsibility of Scientists and Technologists- Who will Bell the Cat?
(Raghavan Jayakumar)

Chapter 2. Ethical Responsibilities in Post-Normal Science
(Tom Børsen)

Chapter 3. Ethics in a Decaying Universe
(Arnold O. Benz)

Chapter 4. Technology and Scientific Responsibility through a Human Rights Lens
(Theresa L. Harris)

Chapter 5. That which is right, and that which we do: How to combat HARKing, P-Hacking, Data Hoarding
(Binod Sundararajan)

Chapter 6. Civilization’s Crisis: The Need for Social Responsibility
(John Scales Avery)

Chapter 7. Neurobiological Sources for Scientific Ethics
(Jesse J. Thomas)

Chapter 8. Academic Responsibility, Writing for Public Impact, and the New World Order
(Scott Slovic)

Chapter 9. The Art of Birthing: From Bioethics to Politics with Assisted Reproductive Technologies
(Deborah Kala Perkins)

Chapter 10. Bridging the Gap between Science and Political Decision Making
(Hugo Estrella)


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