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Catherine Rhodes

6 Scientific freedom and responsibility in a biosecurity context Catherine Rhodes Scientific freedoms are exercised within the context of certain responsibilities, which in some cases justify constraints on those freedoms. (Constraints that may be internally established within scientific communities and/or externally enacted.) Biosecurity dimensions of work involving pathogens are one such case and raise complex challenges for science and policy. The central issues and debates are illustrated well in the development of responses to publication of (‘gain of

in The freedom of scientific research
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.

The case of mitochondrial transfer
Iain Brassington

, and inserted into an enucleated cell with healthy mitochondria; the difference boils down to one of whether that nuclear material is taken from an unfertilised or fertilised ovum. In this chapter, I shall examine some of the senses in which mitochondrial transfer, and the law’s handling of it, might be taken to relate to scientific freedom. I shall try to avoid taking a position; my concern is simply to look at some of the potential argumentative fault lines. For the sake of ease, I shall conflate the terms ‘maternal spindle transfer’ and ‘pronuclear transfer’ under

in The freedom of scientific research
Reflections on the relationship between science and society from the perspective of physics
Lucio Piccirillo

accepted, then scientists should enjoy a substantial degree of freedom from various forms of restrictions. Financial restrictions obviously call into question wider issues about the morality of resource rationing. Other forms of restrictions, based on ignorance, fear or political or ideological credo, are harder to justify. Scientific freedom is not just a political or ideological matter. It is also a matter for scientists to actively deal with: it is the role of scientists to explain, in accessible terms, the importance of scientific endeavours that may appear either

in The freedom of scientific research
Open Access (free)
Simona Giordano

hopeless prison, and today I respond with my thirst for air – because I am truly breathless – which is my thirst for truth, my thirst for freedom. As Marco Cappato and I noted in the conclusion of our first volume on scientific freedom (Giordano et al. 2012), this message reminded us all that when we speak about scientific freedom we are not discussing an abstract idea: we are talking about real people, who have real lives and suffer real vulnerabilities and illnesses. I wish to add now that, as human life has extended so significantly in the last few decades, and as it

in The freedom of scientific research
Open Access (free)
Simona Giordano, John Harris and Lucio Piccirillo

Research is an international ongoing forum, which was formed in 2006 in response to concerns in the international scientific community that scientific freedom might be hindered by ideologies that do not stand up to moral or rational scrutiny. In the early 2000s, part of the international scientific and bioethics community was responding with profound concern to innovations in embryological science; the European Union decided to take time to think about the matter, and first imposed a moratorium, and then a series of limits to the funding of scientific research involving

in The freedom of scientific research
Open Access (free)
Philosophical and ethical challenges
David Lawrence

at the top of the moral status ‘ladder’. Defenders of scientific freedom may have a tall mountain to climb to justify the risks of so momentous a change in society. Advances in these technologies are already affecting the world of work. A survey of the 100 most cited academics writing on AI suggests an expectation that machines will be developed ‘that can carry out most human professions at least as well as a typical human’ (Müller and Bostrom 2016) with 90 per cent confidence by 2070, and with 50 per cent confidence by 2050. While these figures are speculative

in The freedom of scientific research
Open Access (free)
Simona Giordano, John Harris and Lucio Piccirillo

decisions about how we wish to conduct our lives. Countries in which science flourishes also tend to be middle- and high-income countries, and there is thus a positive association between economic growth and scientific freedom. But they note that a more likely hypothesis is that the invention and use of the scientific method in the modern age introduced into human communities a new way of thinking, which allowed a significant percentage of people to go beyond a set of cognitive and emotional biases that we inherited from our evolutionary ancestors, who, however, lived in

in The freedom of scientific research
Vaccine scares, statesmanship and the media
Andrea Stöckl and Anna Smajdor

. Scientists realised that they would need to fight in support of their cause. In short, it became clear that ‘research has to be justified to the satisfaction of the lay community and its parliamentary representatives’. 55 The scientists who were newly mobilised to fight for their cause regarded themselves as fighters for scientific freedom, integrity and rationality, pitted against the ignorant, emotional and irrational public. They were

in The politics of vaccination
A naturalistic approach
Gilberto Corbellini and Elisabetta Sirgiovanni

that have favoured the growth of ascientific and magical thought. There are many possible solutions to scientific misconduct, which mostly concern the need for governmental reforms to improve the working conditions of scholars in contemporary academia around the world, since unethical behaviour is prevalently the result of career pressure and reputation seeking, since academics both old and young face an insufficiency of financial resources to conduct their research, an objective impediment to the expression of their scientific freedom that has consigned academia to

in The freedom of scientific research