Dual-use research: Self-censorship is not enough

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 41.46). 12/2012; 492(7429):345-7. DOI: 10.1038/492345a
Source: PubMed


The debate over publishing potentially dangerous research on flu viruses
would benefit from a closer look at history, argue David Kaiser and
Jonathan D. Moreno.

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    • "Innovation governance, understood as the process of regulating the creation and implementation of innovation, tries to account for these risks of innovation and technology development (Deschamps, 2012; Lee and Petts, 2013). The dangers of innovation lie in the 'dual use' or 'double effect' of innovation (Grinbaum and Groves, 2013; Kaiser and Moreno, 2012; Stilgoe et al., 2013). In other words, innovations can be beneficial as well as harmful both to people and the environment—nuclear fusion is a prominent example of this double effect. "
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    ABSTRACT: Earth’s life support system is facing megaproblems of sustainability. One important way of how these problems can be addressed is through innovation. This paper argues that responsible innovation that contributes to sustainable development consists of three dimensions: (1) innovations avoid harming people and the planet, (2) innovations ‘do good’ by offering new products, services or technologies that foster sustainable development, and (3) global governance schemes are in place that facilitate innovations that avoid harm and ‘do good’. The paper discusses global governance schemes based on deliberation as a means to foster such responsible innovation. These schemes can provide voluntary soft-law regulations that complement and extend national and international hard-law regulations and facilitate collective innovation that contributes to sustainable development goals. The article addresses the facilitative role of governments and international organizations in overcoming problems of deliberation and offers illustrative examples of such governance schemes.
    Journal of Business Ethics 08/2015; online first. DOI:10.1007/s10551-015-2769-z · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    • "We have seen scientists' own ideas of 'research integrity' change in response to societal concerns (Mitcham, 2003; Steneck, 2006). In the 1970s, biologists in the nascent field of recombinant DNA research sought to 'take responsibility' for the possible hazards their research might unleash, with a meeting at Asilomar in 1975 and a subsequent moratorium. 2 Concerns about the 'dual use' of emerging technologies and the limits of selfregulation , visible in physicists' agonising about nuclear fission prior to the Manhattan project (Weart, 1976), resurfaced in 2012 with the recent controversy over the publishing of potentially dangerous research on flu viruses (Kaiser and Moreno, 2012). The negotiation of responsibility between practicing scientists, innovators and the outside world remains an important and contested area of debate to this day. "
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    ABSTRACT: The governance of emerging science and innovation is a major challenge for contemporary democracies. In this paper we present a framework for understanding and supporting efforts aimed at ‘responsible innovation’. The framework was developed in part through work with one of the first major research projects in the controversial area of geoengineering, funded by the UK Research Councils. We describe this case study, and how this became a location to articulate and explore four integrated dimensions of responsible innovation: anticipation, reflexivity, inclusion and responsiveness. Although the framework for responsible innovation was designed for use by the UK Research Councils and the scientific communities they support, we argue that it has more general application and relevance.
    Research Policy 11/2013; 42(9):1568–1580. DOI:10.1016/j.respol.2013.05.008 · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The moral terrain of science, the full range of ethical considerations that are part of the scientific endeavor, has not been mapped. Without such a map, we cannot examine the responsibilities of scientists to see if the institutions of science are adequately constructed. This paper attempts such a map by describing four dimensions of the terrain: (1) the bases to which scientists are responsible (scientific reasoning, the scientific community, and the broader society); (2) the nature of the responsibility (general or role); (3) the level of responsibility (minimum demand or ideal); and (4) who bears the responsibility (the individual or the community). Such a map will be used to elucidate the recent debate over the publication of studies concerning H5N1 flu virus.
    Erkenntnis 06/2013; 79(S5). DOI:10.1007/s10670-013-9538-0
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