The Ethics Blog

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

Category: In the media (Page 1 of 6)

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 […]

Proceed carefully with vaccine against covid-19

Pharmaceutical companies want to quickly manufacture a vaccine against covid-19, with human testing and launch in the market as soon as possible. In a debate article, Jessica Nihlén Fahlquist at CRB warns of the risk of losing the larger risk perspective: “Tests on people and a potential premature mass vaccination entail risks. It is easy […]

Herb Terrace about the chimpanzee Nim – do you see the contradiction?

Have you seen small children make repeated attempts to squeeze a square object through a round hole (plastic toy for the little ones)? You get puzzled: Do they not see that it is impossible? The object and the hole have different shapes! Sometimes adults are just as puzzling. Our intellect does not always fit reality. […]

Communicating thought provoking research in our common language

After having been the editor of the Ethics Blog for eight years, I would like to describe the research communication that usually occurs on this blog. The Ethics Blog wants to avoid the popular scientific style that sometimes occurs in the media, which reports research results on the form, “We have traditionally believed that…, but […]

Why should we care about the environment and climate change?

To most of us, it is self-evident that we, as human beings and societies, should care about the environment and climate change. Greta Thunberg has, in a remarkable way, spurred political interest and engagement in climate change. This effort has affected our thoughts and emotions concerning environmental policy. However, when we dig deeper into the […]

Learning from the difficulties

In popular scientific literature, research can sometimes appear deceptively simple: “In the past, people believed that … But when researchers looked more closely, they found that …” It may seem as if researchers need not do much more than visit archives or laboratories. There, they take a closer look at things and discover amazing results. […]

The human being is not only a category

We often use words as categories, as names of classes of things or individuals in the world. Humans and animals. Englishmen and Germans. Capitalists and Communists. Christians and Muslims. I want to highlight a difficulty we may encounter if we try to handle the problem of human violence from such an outward looking perspective. Something […]

Sharing a blog post on consciousness

Michele Farisco at CRB has written an interesting post for the BMC blog on medicine. He says that “whereas ethical analyses of disorders of consciousness traditionally focus on residual awareness, there may be a case to be made for the ethical relevance of the retained unawareness.” Interested to read more? Here is a link to […]

Driverless car ethics

Self-driving robot cars are controlled by computer programs with huge amounts of traffic rules. But in traffic, not everything happens smoothly according to the rules. Suddenly a child runs out on the road. Two people try to help a cyclist who collapsed on the road. A motorist tries to make a U-turn on a too […]

Can a robot learn to speak?

There are self-modifying computer programs that “learn” from success and failure. Chess-playing computers, for example, become better through repeated games against humans. Could a similar robot also learn to speak? If the robot gets the same input as a child gets when it learns to speak, should it not be possible in principle? Notice how […]

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