The Ethics Blog

A blog from the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB)

Working online during the pandemic: recommendations from the Human Brain Project

The covid-19 pandemic forced many of us to work online from home. The change contained surprises, both positive and negative. We learned that it is possible to have digital staff meetings, seminars and coffee breaks, and that working from home can sometimes mean less interference than working in the office. We also discovered how much […]

Ethical fitness apps for high performance morality

In an unusually rhetorical article for being in a scientific journal, the image is drawn of a humanity that frees itself from moral weakness by downloading ethical fitness apps. The authors claim that the maxim “Know thyself!” from the temple of Apollo at Delphi is answered today more thoroughly than ever. Never has humanity known […]

Where to publish and where not to publish in bioethics – the 2020 list

Allegedly, there are over 12.000 so-called predatory journals out there. Instead of supporting readers and science, these journals serve their own economic interests first and at best offer dubious merits for scholars. We believe that scholars working in any academic discipline have a professional interest and a responsibility to keep track of these journals. It […]

Autonomous together

Autonomy is such a cherished concept in ethics that I hardly dare to write about it. The fact that the concept cherishes the individual does not make my task any easier. The slightest error in my use of the term, and I risk being identified as an enemy perhaps not of the people but of […]

Responsibly planned research communication

Academic research is driven by dissemination of results to peers at conferences and through publication in scientific journals. However, research results belong not only to the research community. They also belong to society. Therefore, results should reach not only your colleagues in the field or the specialists in adjacent fields. They should also reach outside […]

Science and society: a changing framework and the role of RRI (by Daniele Mezzana)

The STARBIOS2 project has carried out its activities in a context of the profound transformations that affect contemporary societies, and now we are all facing the Covid-19 pandemic. Science and society have always coevolved, they are interconnected entities, but their relationship is changing and it has been for some time. This shift from modern to […]

We do not know if cancer patients receive better treatment by participating in clinical trials

How do we know? That is the recurring question in a scientific culture. Do we have support for what we claim or is it just an opinion? Is there evidence? The development of new cancer treatments provides many examples of the recurring question. The pharmaceutical company would like to be able to claim that the […]

Inspiration for responsible research and innovation

Our attitude to science is changing. Can we talk solemnly about it anymore as a unified endeavor, or even about sciences? It seems more apt to talk about research activities that produce useful and applicable knowledge. Science has been dethroned, it seems. In the past, we revered it as free and independent search for the […]

Anthropomorphism in AI can limit scientific and technological development

Anthropomorphism almost seems inscribed in research on artificial intelligence (AI). Ever since the beginning of the field, machines have been portrayed in terms that normally describe human abilities, such as understanding and learning. The emphasis is on similarities between humans and machines, while differences are downplayed. Like when it is claimed that machines can perform […]

We cannot control everything: the philosophical dimensions of life

Life always surpasses us. We thought we were in control, but then something unexpected happens that seems to upset the order. A storm, a forest fire, a pandemic. Life appears as a drawing in sand, the contours of which suddenly dissolve. Of course, it is not that definitive. Even a storm, a forest fire, a […]

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