Introduction: Ethical challenges for the life sciences.- Researchers in Organizations.- Moral complexity in organizations.- Comments on Jeurissen: Organization and moral complexity.- The social role of businesses and the role of the professional.- Comments on Wempe: Conditions for ethical business.- Responsible Authorship and Communication.- The responsible conduct of research, including responsible authorship and publication practices.- Comments on Bulger: The responsible conduct of research, including responsible authorship and publication practices.- Professional ethics and scholarly communication.- Comments on Zwart: Professional ethics and scholarly communication.- Some recent challenges to openness and freedom in scientific publication.- Comments on Resnik: Some recent challenges to openness and freedom in scientific publication.- Ethics of Animal Research.- Research ethics for animal biotechnology.- Comments on Thompson: Research ethics for animal biotechnology.- Ethics for Life Scientists as a Challenge for Ethics.- How common morality relates to business and the professions.- Comments on Gert: Gert's common morality: old-fashioned or untimely?.- Research as a challenge for ethical reflection.- Comments on Düwell: Research as a challenge for ethical reflection.- Scientists in Society.- New public responsibilities for life scientists.- Comments on Korthals: New public responsibilities for life scientists.- Science, context and professional ethics.- Bioscientists as ethical decision-makers.- Comments on Häyry: Assessing bioscientific work from a moral point of view.- New Developments.- The human genome: common resource but not common heritage.- Conclusions.- Conclusions: Towards ethically sound life sciences.
Life sciences have huge controversial social implications. In doing experiments with animals, plants or humans the welfare of these living beings can be hampered; in communicating research results private and public interests can be harmed (patents!) or at least severely influenced; in being a member of a research group issues of human rights (like discriminatory behaviour) can become prominent; individual and collective forms of responsibility because of controversial types of research can become urgent.
Funding organizations can confront scientists and engineers with new ethical issues; the public at large or, as is the case with sustainability, future generations can challenge existing ways of doing research, and educating and teaching can confront scientists with new ethical issues.
In this book, resulting from an expert workshop at Wageningen University and Research Centre, European and American experts discuss topics and theories like the relationship between ethics, professional ethics and business ethics, the public responsibility of researchers and communicating, organizing, teaching and discussing ethical issues.