The autonomy of science and responsible conduct of research

Whose responsibility is responsible conduct of research, i.e. research integrity? 1. Ultimately the individual researchers – they bear the responsibility for their research practices and the results they publish – whether they work individually or in teams 2. But research integrity is also a collective responsibility 2a. It is an institutional responsibility – Institutions such

Solid science for hard decisions: The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Anthropogenic climate change is “one of the greatest challenges of our time” as affirmed by the governments of the world. The newest comprehensive assessment Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) documents a rapidly and profoundly changing Earth System and provides the latest understanding of changes ahead

Should We Have More Surveillance Than The USSR?

Surveillance of the movements, activities and communications of the general public becomes oppressive; beyond a certain point, which I will explain, it becomes incompatible with journalism and therefore with democracy.  Legal limits on the state’s use of these massive digital dossiers is inadequate to protect journalism and democracy; rather, we must redesign the world’s digital

Human embryonic stem cells and regenerative medicine

Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) have two main characteristics that make them such an appealing cell type for regenerative medicine: they can stay in culture in an undifferentiated state for an unlimited time, and steered by correct triggers, the can differentiate into any cell type in the body.  It has taken several decades for the

Diseases do not recognise countries’ borders – nor should we

Patient organisations have developed from a shoulder to cry on to important tools encouraging families to engage in research.  They have merged from tiny groups in local communities, to national organisations, and on to a global movement of families, support groups and researchers; melting, bit by bit, the fear of the disease by the power

Scientific freedom and responsibility in the biosecurity context

This paper outlines how international governance processes reflect and respond to tensions between scientific freedom and security in relation to work involving dangerous pathogens and how responsibility is increasingly emphasised in this work. It incorporates consideration of reciprocal responsibilities of policy-makers and scientists in the development and implementation of governance measures in this area.  International

Empirical analysis and precaution: a feasible match

Our panel will look at how to promote scientific validity within political decision-making processes. In my speech I will focus on the issue of public decisions’ empirical bases. In Europe, two approaches have conflicted for the past twenty years, or perhaps even more: that of decisions’ empirical bases, and the precaution principle. These approaches are

Behaviorally evidence-informed policy

Every day around the world, governing bodies enforce new policy measures to improve people’s health and well-being, reform education or regulate the economy. The process leading to new policy is very often the same. A societal problem emerges getting media and political attention, then a handful of people in charge consult experts, sometimes ask the

Why the international drug conventions are the worst censorship of research since the Catholic Church banned the telescope

Many psychoactive drugs are used recreationally, particularly by young people. This use has led to many different classes of drugs being banned under national laws and international conventions in an attempt to reduce use.  However the regulations on drugs such as cannabis, MDMA and psychedelics are much more stringent than their harms require. This has effectively

The development and lack of application of GE animals in agriculture in North America

The development of genetically engineered animals arose from work in the United States in the early 1980s, with the first GE livestock being reported in 1985. Since that time a large number of gene constructs have been inserted into livestock with the intention of use in food production. However, to date no GE animal product