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Collective responsibility towards research and innovation’s risks and new ethical dilemmas

Research and innovation constantly change our world. From the Internet and mobile phones, to climate change and new cancer treatments, science and technology have the potential to transform our lives. These developments also create new risks and new ethical dilemmas. Responsible research and innovation (RRI) seeks to bring these issues into the open. It also aims to anticipate the consequences and directions of research and innovation.

How to give credit to scientists for their involvement in collecting, curating and publishing data & samples

Stemming from initial discussions by the Research Data Alliance Interest Group: Sharing Rewards and Credit, this session was developed to explore the problems and solutions around crediting scientists for sharing their data and other research outputs. Accordingly, we gathered together a group of experts to hear about their experiences in policy-making and metrics, and discuss some possible next steps.

Integrity is not a component of ethics, integrity is much more

Academic and research integrity cannot be a side project or an afterthought. Integrity and ethics must be central to everything we do and every decision we make. We must work to ensure that we are putting integrity at the forefront of our mission and operations. To achieve objectives mentioned it requests to respect the framework of integrity policies, processes and procedures at all institutional levels. Integrity policies, processes and procedures are an inseparable and significant part of the whole set of functions/activities within an institution that work together for the aim of the institution.

Can public opinion shape the future of genome editing research?

Newer genome editing technologies, such as CRISPR-Cas, are revolutionising scientific research and bringing about a myriad of potential applications in many fields. For science and technology to progress timely and efficiently, the societal debate must move forward at the same pace to help guide the direction of scientific research and to frame policy-making decisions. As this technology progresses, what will be the key questions to address as the public is engaged in these conversations? This article hints at some of them while a comprehensive list will be discussed at ESOF dilemma café session on Friday 13th –participate to find out!

Policy making manifesto: squaring science with the human factor

EuroScientist publishes in exclusivity the Brussels Declaration on ethics & principles for science & society policy-making, launched on 17th February 2017 at the AAAS meeting. This document outlines a set of 20 principles related to the ethics and the mechanisms through which scientific evidence is taken into account as part of the policy making process for issues relevant to science and society. This declaration proposes a dramatic shift in the way scientific evidence informs policy. It suggests integrating the views of practitioners in relevant fields, thus instilling a bottom-up approach to the policy making process. This is in sharp contrast with the existing top down policy making principles. Find out more in this op-ed written exclusively for EuroScientist by some of the authors of the Brussels Declaration.

Macchiarini scandal: overstepping the research ethics mark

A star scientist overstating the outcome of his pioneering transplant experiments may be worrying. But when these experiments are performed in humans, used a guinea pigs, before laboratory research proves the validity of the approach, we have a recipe for disaster. The recent Macchiarini scandal has led to one of the most shocking case of scientific misconduct in recent years. It reveals a lot about the vanity culture pervading some fields of research. Our outlook on what constitutes success in research may need to be revised.

Can ethics training improve the quality of research?

Critiques are increasingly challenging the way research is being performed. Recent scandals revealing scientific fraud have made media headlines. Meanwhile, some are challenging the established ways of measuring research. It appears that research integrity is not sufficiently ingrained in the current practice of science. So much so, that it sometimes appear like an unattainable goal. To remedy this problem, some believe that part of the solution lies in making research integrity training compulsory, even though it is far from being a magic bullet.

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Inspiring findings to expand the RRI scene

As the first few RRI projects are coming to fruition, there are plenty of lessons to be shared about how best to implement the European Union policies on responsible research and innovation. In this opinion piece, the coordinators of the Go4 group of RRI projects share their recommendations on how best include RRI practice into existing research and innovation activities.