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Bridging the gap between science and society

Never have the scope and limits of scientific freedom been more important or more under attack. New science, from artificial intelligence to genomic manipulation, creates unique opportunities to make the world a better place. But it also presents unprecedented dangers, which many believe threaten the survival of humanity and the planet. This collection, by an international and multidisciplinary group of leading thinkers, addresses three vital questions: (1) How are scientific developments impacting on human life and on the structure of societies? (2) How is science regulated, and how should it be regulated? (3) Are there ethical boundaries to scientific developments in some sensitive areas (e.g. robotic intelligence, biosecurity)? The contributors are drawn from many disciplines, and approach the issues in diverse ways to secure the widest representation of the many interests engaged. They include some of the most distinguished academics working in this field, as well as young scholars.

Here be monsters

This book contributes to the study of science and politics by shedding light on sometimes dark, hidden or ignored aspects of openness as a core policy agenda. While opening up of science to public scrutiny and public deliberation is good in principle, various dilemmas and problems are entailed by this move, which also should be made public and be discussed more openly. Developed as a solution to perceived crises in science/society relations, openness and transparency initiatives might hide ‘monsters’ that need to be made visible and need to be examined. Chapters in this book deal with four themes: transparency in the context of science in the public sphere; responsibility in the context of in contemporary research practice and governance, both globally and locally; experts in the context of policy-making, risk assessment and the regulation of science; and faith in the context of tensions and misunderstandings between science and religion. Each section of the book contains an opening essay by experts on a particular theme (Mark Brown, Benjamin Worthy, Barbara Prainsack/Sabina Leonelli, Chris Toumey). The book closes with an epilogue by Stephen Turner and an essay by John Holmwood. At present, openness in science is more important than ever. This book should be of interest to academics and members of the public who want to know more about the challenges and opportunities of 'making science public' - the theme of a Leverhulme Trust funded research programme on which this book is based.

Open Access (free)
Simona Giordano, John Harris and Lucio Piccirillo

Introduction to Part II Simona Giordano Part II of this volume focuses on the regulation of science. Particularly with regard to science that directly affects or uses human materials (tissues and cells) or human beings (not only fully conscious humans, but also embryos, foetuses or humans without higher brain functions, or in persistent vegetative states, or minimally conscious human beings), two types of concerns are frequently raised. The first is that scientists may misuse the materials, or mistreat the research subjects – even those who may be unable to

in The freedom of scientific research
Open Access (free)
Brigitte Nerlich, Sarah Hartley, Sujatha Raman and Alexander Thomas T. Smith

organised into four parts, around the themes of (1) transparency in the context of science in the public sphere; (2) responsibility in the context of contemporary research practice and governance, both globally and more locally; (3) expertise in the context of policymaking, risk assessment and the regulation of science; and (4) faith in the context of emerging tensions and misunderstandings between science, politics and publics regarding issues of religion. Each of the four parts contains an opening essay by an expert on the theme, and the book closes with an afterword

in Science and the politics of openness
Open Access (free)
Simona Giordano, John Harris and Lucio Piccirillo

bioethical and political debate on the ethics and politics of scientific freedom. We do not offer a collection from academics who have ideological affinity with us: we want to provide a truly multidisciplinary and open perspective on scientific developments in society and a critical reflection on the regulation of science. We hope to provide a balanced but progressive collection, which will promote further reasoned debate on the gap between science and society and on how to correct it. References Arendt, H. (1993), ‘What is freedom?’, in H. Arendt, Between Past and Future

in The freedom of scientific research