Who Gets to Decide a Scientific Code of Ethics? pt. 2

September 18, 2007 at 4:32 pm Leave a comment

I posted yesterday about a code of ethics created for scientists by Sir David King. My review of the code was pretty negative.

I decided to do some more homework on Sir King’s code today. As part of this, (and I’m kicking myself for publishing before having a more thorough understanding of the topic), I discovered this Letter from the UK Council for Science and Technology. The letter is followed by a draft of the code. While larger than the edition reported by the BBC here, it remains a document about which I am pessimistic.

More interesting than the draft of the code is the letter which the council released prior to the code’s circulation. Both were published in May of 2005 (I was still in High School, so I think it’s forgivable that I missed the announcement). Little seems to have changed between this version and its publication, but it appears that the code went up for a six-month period of something resembling peer review. Institutions were asked for the views on the usefulness of a universal code of ethics for the scientific community.

I wonder if I can dig up the responses (presuming there were any) to the “peer review”? It would be interesting to be able to look inside the guts of a policy paper written by the scientific community in a way that resembles normal scientific discourse. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that soon, in part 3.


Entry filed under: Ethics, SSK.

Who Gets to Decide a Scientific Code of Ethics? The Limits of Science

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Everything on this blog should be taken as a draft, the spilling over of mental activity flung far and wide. The author is a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, MA who enjoys many things but devotes most of this space to matters academic.
September 2007
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