Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


Home > Press > Science for the benefit of all

The social responsibilities of the global scientific community and the values that should guide the conduct of scientists are at the core of a new booklet released by the International Council for Science (ICSU).

Science for the benefit of all

Europe | Posted on October 24th, 2008

Since its establishment in 1931, the ICSU has often been called on to speak on behalf of the scientific community on issues pertaining to science in all its forms. The new booklet, entitled 'Freedom, Responsibility and the Universality of Science', is published in the wake of a number of high profile cases of scientific misconduct.

The booklet explains the 'Principle of Universality of Science' which is based on non-discrimination and equity. In the eyes of the ICSU, this issue of universality has been crucial to the progress of science. What this means for science is that all scientists, no matter their background, should have the chance to participate on an equal footing in legitimate scientific activities. It also encapsulates the notions of freedom of movement, association, expression and communication for scientists, as well as equitable access to data, information and research materials.

Apart from affirming the universality of science, the booklet also outlines the duty and responsibilities of scientists. For John Sulston, a member of the ICSU Committee and winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, outlining responsibilities was an important factor.

'It is critical that scientific freedoms are preserved, but we all have responsibilities as well-both to our fellow scientists and the public at large,' he stated. 'We must fully accept these responsibilities if public confidence in science is to be maintained and if the full potential of science is to be used to address the major global challenges that face society.'

Part of the reason why the responsibility of scientists is being discussed is the scientific community's recognition that it needs to better engage with its stakeholders in society in explaining, developing and implementing research agendas. It acknowledges that science has provided many benefits over the years, such as increasing the average human lifespan, but at the same time some technologies being developed may inadvertently have adverse effects on people and the environment.

'In many ways, what the booklet says is simple, but actually reaching agreement on these issues was surprisingly complicated,' explained Bengt Gustafsson, chair of the ICSU Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the Conduct of Science (CFRS), which produced the booklet. 'Hopefully now we have a starting point for the different parts of the scientific community to establish their own more specific guidelines, codes or practices, where these are lacking.'

Over the years, the ICSU has been at the forefront of standing up for scientists facing persecution. In the 1980s it supported Andrei Sakharov when he was persecuted by the former USSR for speaking out against its irresponsible scientific behaviour. A similar group of concerned organisations acted on behalf of Nobel winner Wangeri Maathai when she was imprisoned for speaking out against the Kenyan government over its environmental practices. More recently the ICSU intervened on behalf of Russian environmental engineer Alexander Nikitin, who wrote with a Norwegian environmental organisation about the dangers posed by nuclear dump sites and nuclear-powered submarines of the Russian Northern Fleet.


For more information, please click here

Copyright © International Council for Science

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Oxford Instrumentsí Triton Cryofree dilution refrigerator selected by Oxford University for developing scalable quantum nanodevices September 2nd, 2015

JEOL Introduces New Best-in-Class Field Emission SEM September 2nd, 2015

TCL and QD Vision Demonstrate the Future of Wide Color Gamut Television at IFA: Color IQ Based Display is the First Commercially-Branded Television to Present Over 90% of ITU Rec. 2020 Color Gamut September 2nd, 2015

Atomic Force Microscopes from Asylum Research Guide the Development of Thin Film Deposition and Etch Processes September 2nd, 2015


March 2016; 6th Int'l Conference on Nanostructures in Iran July 29th, 2015

PETA science consortium to present at Society for Risk Analysis meeting December 10th, 2014

PETA science consortium experts to present at international nanotechology workshop: PETA International Science Consortium, Ltd., Is a Sponsor of Nano Risk Analysis II September 12th, 2014

PETA science consortium to present hazard testing strategy at nanotoxicology meeting: High tech field ripe for use of sophisticated non-animal testing strategies April 22nd, 2014


For 2-D boron, it's all about that base: Rice University theorists show flat boron form would depend on metal substrates September 2nd, 2015

Silk bio-ink could help advance tissue engineering with 3-D printers September 2nd, 2015

Phagraphene, a 'relative' of graphene, discovered September 2nd, 2015

A marine creature's magic trick explained: Crystal structures on the sea sapphire's back appear differently depending on the angle of reflection September 2nd, 2015

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

For 2-D boron, it's all about that base: Rice University theorists show flat boron form would depend on metal substrates September 2nd, 2015

Silk bio-ink could help advance tissue engineering with 3-D printers September 2nd, 2015

Phagraphene, a 'relative' of graphene, discovered September 2nd, 2015

Nanotech could rid cattle of ticks, with less collateral damage September 1st, 2015

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

Car Brands
Buy website traffic