Jan V. Sengers
IPST, University of Maryland
Reflections on ethics and science
I shall first consider some historical developments which have made ethics and science a very urgent contemporary issue. Ethical standards are important in science. They are needed to promote the aims of science, such as to arrive at knowledge and truth; to promote values that are essential to collaborative work, such as trust, accountability, mutual respect, and fairness; to ensure that scientists can be held accountable to the public and to help building public support for science. I shall then discuss some of the steps taken by various agencies to help prevent scientific misconduct and to recommend ethical guidelines. Finally, I shall make an attempt to address the issue at a deeper philosophical level based on a classical theory of liberating virtues and give some illustration how this philosophical approach can make us better and more inspiring scientists.