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Diagram of the Ethical Dimensions of Scientific Research model of a broader conception of "research ethics"

Diagram of the Ethical Dimensions of Scientific Research model of a broader conception of "research ethics"

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The goal of this paper is to articulate and advocate for an enhanced role for philosophers of science in the domain of science policy as well as within the science curriculum. I argue that philosophy of science as a field can learn from the successes as well as the mistakes of bioethics and begin to develop a new model that includes robust contribu...

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... ethical issues relating to the impact of scientific research on society and thus provides inadequate training relevant to the NSF second criterion. The EDSR model identifies three domains of research ethics. In what follows, I will define each domain and provide an initial discussion of the potential contributions of philosophers of science (Fig. ...

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... The conclusion that has typically been drawn from arguments such as these is that non-epistemic values need to be managed in some way (Elliott, 2017;Intemann, 2015;Longino, 2002). One needs to both protect the (epistemic) integrity of the scientific project and indeed make scientific knowledge broadly useful (Dupré, 2007) given that epistemic and non-epistemic values are often entangled and sometimes come into tension with one another (Tuana, 2010). Although views depart on how such a management strategy is best pursued-it is typically both about the way values come to affect science in various ways and the specific values given a certain context of application-a minimal prerequisite is an examination of the values that some set of methodological and theoretical choices activate and how they are entangled. ...
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The question whether a single extreme climate event, such as a hurricane or heatwave, can be attributed to human induced climate change has become a vibrant field of research and discussion in recent years. Proponents of the most common approach (probabilistic event attribution) argue for using single event attribution for advancing climate policy, not least in the context of loss and damages, while critics are raising concerns about inductive risks which may result in misguided policies. Here, we present six ethical predicaments, rooted in epistemic choices of single event attribution for policy making, with a focus on problems related to loss and damage. Our results show that probabilistic event attribution is particularly sensitive to these predicaments, rendering the choice of method value laden and hence political. Our review shows how the putatively apolitical approach becomes political and deeply problematic from a climate justice perspective. We also suggest that extreme event attribution (EEA) is becoming more and more irrelevant for projecting loss and damages as socio-ecological systems are increasingly destabilized by climate change. We conclude by suggesting a more causality driven approach for understanding loss and damage, that is, less prone to the ethical predicaments of EEA.
... For example, non-epistemic values are often relied upon when scientists assess the consequences of making a mistake while deciding about the evidential support for a hypothesis (Rudner 1953;Douglas 2000). It is widely debated which forms of value-ladenness are legitimate, or illegitimate (Douglas 2009;Elliott 2017), as well as what are the ethical, political, and policy implications of values in science (Douglas 2009;Biddle 2018;Tuana 2010). In order to analyse knowledge claims about the behavioural sciences I rely mainly on Helen Longino's insights on the presence of values in science. ...
... Nancy Tuana's work on embedding philosophers and philosophers of science in practices of interdisciplinary and policy relevant science offers some guidance on approaching these questions(Tuana 2010(Tuana , 2013. See also suggestions on how to make values embedded in the behavioural sciences explicit in order to enable democratic control of behavioural public policy(Lepenies and Małecka 2019).Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. ...
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The aim of this article is to question the epistemic presuppositions of applying behavioural science in public policymaking. Philosophers of science who have examined the recent applications of the behavioural sciences to policy have contributed to discussions on causation, evidence, and randomised controlled trials. These have focused on epistemological and methodological questions about the reliability of scientific evidence and the conditions under which we can predict that a policy informed by behavioural research will achieve the policymakers’ goals. This paper argues that the philosophical work of Helen Longino can also help us to have a better and fuller understanding of the knowledge which the behavioural sciences provide. The paper advances an analysis of the knowledge claims that are made in the context of policy applications of behavioural science and compares them with the behavioural research on which they are based. This allows us to show that behavioural policy and the debates accompanying it are based on an oversimplified understanding of what knowledge behavioural science actually provides. Recognising this problem is important as arguments that justify reliance on the behavioural sciences in policy typically presume this simplification.
... Certainly, there are examples of philosophical work that has successfully crossed disciplinary boundaries and positively influenced science and society, several of which have even been captured and discussed in recent philosophical literature (Plaisance and Fehr 2010;Tuana 2010;Brister and Frodeman 2020;Plaisance and Elliott 2021). What has yet to be systematically examined, however, is which pathways are most likely to be effective when it comes to the broader uptake of our work. ...
... In fact, as our survey data show, many philosophers of science think that the discipline as a whole has an obligation to ensure that philosophy of science is having positive impacts outside the discipline. For those who disagree, and/or who are not interested in broader impacts themselves, interpersonal engagement may still worthwhile since it can lead to new philosophical insights (Douglas 2010;Fehr and Plaisance 2010;Tuana 2010;Plaisance 2020). Yet, despite evidence that attending to broader impacts is highly valued in the abstract, recent studies have found that research activities which don't directly lead to publications in philosophical venues are not typically rewarded (Hrotic 2013;Tiberius 2017). ...
... This is particularly problematic at a time when there is growing pressure for humanities research and other academic efforts to be more socially relevant. For disciplines in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), this pressure was made especially visible over twenty years ago with the introduction of the National Science Foundation's Broader Impacts Criterion, which required STEM grant proposals to explicitly address how their project would benefit society (Tuana 2010). More recently, as discussed above, the REF framework in the UK has emphasized broader impacts since its introduction in 2014 (Hicks and Holbrook 2019), and Canada's Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) has been increasingly emphasizing knowledge mobilization in their funding criteria, especially that which has the potential for wider social benefits. ...
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Philosophy of science has the potential to enhance scientific practice, science policy, and science education; moreover, recent research indicates that many philosophers of science think we ought to increase the broader impacts of our work. Yet, there is little to no empirical data on how we are supposed to have an impact. To address this problem, our research team interviewed 35 philosophers of science regarding the impact of their work in science-related domains. We found that face-to-face engagement with scientists and other stakeholders was one of the most—if not the most—effective pathways to impact. Yet, working with non-philosophers and disseminating research outside philosophical venues is not what philosophers are typically trained or incentivized to do. Thus, there is a troublesome tension between the activities that are likely to lead to broader uptake of one’s work and those that are traditionally encouraged and rewarded in philosophy (and which are therefore the most consequential for careers in philosophy). We suggest several ways that philosophers of science, either as individuals or as a community, can navigate these tensions.
... Even biased algorithms can be superior to the human practices that they replace or inform (Corbett-Davies, . Moreover, some aspects of algorithmic bias (e.g., the impossibility results for statistical measures of bias) are mathematical theorems, and so potentially apply to any structured decision-making, whether human-or machine-based (Tuana, 2010). The hype around algorithms and AI is frequently too loud and overwrought, and as we have seen here, algorithms can certainly create and perpetuate massive injustices. ...
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Data‐driven algorithms are widely used to make or assist decisions in sensitive domains, including healthcare, social services, education, hiring, and criminal justice. In various cases, such algorithms have preserved or even exacerbated biases against vulnerable communities, sparking a vibrant field of research focused on so‐called algorithmic biases. This research includes work on identification, diagnosis, and response to biases in algorithm‐based decision‐making. This paper aims to facilitate the application of philosophical analysis to these contested issues by providing an overview of three key topics: What is algorithmic bias? Why and how can it occur? What can and should be done about it? Throughout, we highlight connections—both actual and potential—with philosophical ideas and concerns.
... Consider her work on coupled epistemic-ethical analyses (Tuana, 2010(Tuana, , 2013(Tuana, , 2017. When used as a philosophical intervention in the workings of climate science and decision support science, developing a coupled epistemic-ethical analysis involves raising questions about and pointing out the ways in which research decisions shaped by epistemic values (e.g., for highly reliable forecasts) may lead to consequences that negatively impact our moral and epistemic values (e.g., delayed advice that limits effective climate action), and vice versa. ...
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Environmental problems often outstrip the abilities of any single scientist to understand, much less address them. As a result, collaborations within, across, and beyond the environmental sciences are an increasingly important part of the environmental science landscape. Here, we explore an insufficiently recognized and particularly challenging barrier to collaborative environmental science: value pluralism, the presence of non-trivial differences in the values that collaborators bring to bear on project decisions. We argue that resolving the obstacles posed by value pluralism to collaborative environmental science requires detecting and coordinating the underlying problematic value differences. We identify five ways that a team might coordinate their problematic value differences and argue that, whichever mode is adopted, it ought to be governed by participatory virtues, pragmatic resolve, and moral concern. Relying on our experiences with the Toolbox Dialogue Initiative, as well as with other dialogical approaches that support team inquiry, we defend the claim that philosophical dialogue among collaborators can go a long way towards helping teams of environmental scientists and fellow travelers detect their problematic value differences. Where dialogical approaches fare less well is in helping teams coordinate these differences. We close by describing several principles for augmenting philosophical dialogue with other methods, and we list several of these methods in an appendix with brief descriptions and links for further learning. Overall, the article makes three main contributions to the research collaboration and values in science literatures: (1) It deepens our understanding of problematic value pluralism in team science; (2) It provides actionable guidance and methods for improving values-oriented philosophical dialogue interventions; and (3) It demonstrates one way of doing engaged philosophy.
... We also want to stress that supporting engaged approaches to philosophy of science, and philosophy more generally, has the potential to benefit philosophy itself. As some scholars have demonstrated, engaging scientific communities, policymakers, and others can open up new avenues for philosophical research (Tuana 2010) and shed light on traditional topics in philosophy of science (Douglas 2010). Moreover, support for diverse types of scholarship can enhance support for diverse practitioners, especially underrepresented groups such as women and people of color (Dotson 2012). ...
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Philosophers of science are increasingly arguing for the importance of doing scientifically- and socially-engaged work, suggesting that we need to reduce barriers to extra-disciplinary engagement and broaden our impact. Yet, we currently lack empirical data to inform these discussions, leaving a number of important questions unanswered. How common is it for philosophers of science to engage other communities, and in what ways are they engaging? What barriers are most prevalent when it comes to broadly disseminating one’s work or collaborating with others? To what extent do philosophers of science actually value an engaged approach? Our project addresses this gap in our collective knowledge by providing empirical data regarding the state of philosophy of science today. We report the results of a survey of 299 philosophers of science about their attitudes towards and experiences with disseminating their work to and collaborating with those outside the discipline. Our data suggest that a significant majority of philosophers of science think it is important for non-philosophers to read and make use of their work; most are engaging with communities outside the discipline; and many think philosophy of science, as a discipline, has an obligation to ensure it has a broader impact. Interestingly, however, many of these same philosophers believe engaged work is generally undervalued in the discipline. We think these findings call for cautious optimism on the part of those who value engaged work – while there seems to be more interest in engaging other communities than many assume, significant barriers still remain.
... The philosophical literature has mainly drawn on the 'inductive risk' argument by Rudner (1953) then extended by Douglas (2000) and concentrated on the responsibility of the scientist with reference to her choices over uncertainty treatment (Winsberg 2012;Winsberg, Oreskes, and Lloyd 2019;Parker 2014;Parker and Winsberg 2018;Lloyd and Schweizer 2014;Beck and Krueger 2016;van der Sluijs 2012;Tuana 2010). The economic and decisionanalytic literature has rather focused on the policy side, that is, on how to make models useful for policy decisions in spite of uncertainty, including shifting the classical paradigm of 'prediction' in science for policy to the idea of 'robust' scientific outcomes (Lempert 2019). ...
... choices of analysis and should be able to explain how such choices link up to the rationality of their model. This is not an easy task however, because contested appreciations, values and solutions in relation to uncertainty tend to be 'intrinsically' worked out in the model (Tuana 2010) through a series of artefacts that purposively make it lose track of such values. We saw above the representation of the 'ideal' decisionmaker as indifferent between alternative states of the future, an artifact that Desroisières (1998) explained as being characteristic of the use of classical probabilities and oriented to represent choices over uncertain futures as a purely technical, value-free operation. ...
... However, they are all value free. In this way, the value judgements about the ethical, social and political implications of the resulting policy options, are said to remain 'externalized' to the 'real' decision-makerwho will eventually make choices over them (Tuana 2010;Havstad and Brown 2017). And yet, values are 'intrinsic' to the model to the extent that we decide to employ one artefact over another (Shackley et al. 1999;Shackley and Wynne 1996) or decide to enquire about one future over another according to what we anticipate as possible. ...
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We interrogate mathematical modelling as an instrument of knowledge co-production by concentrating on the classical probabilistic operationalization of decision-making under uncertainty used for informing climate change mitigation options. We construct our co-productive assessment framework by first retrieving criticisms targeted at expected utility theory in relation to its epistemic and ethical limits in dealing with ‘true’ uncertainty. We then reflect on how ethical values should operate in relation to uncertainty in order to live up to the co-production ideal and specifically, to the principle of Responsible Research and Innovation. We thus undertake the perspective of a general modeller and test our reflections by imagining the classical probabilistic space of calculation as a space of negotiation between probabilities, ideas, values and beliefs. We thus propose an alternative ‘public’ space of calculation in which the conditions for co-production are set up on a pragmatic and moral account of rational expectations.
... The "of" implies using concepts and theories 378 14 Biotechnology, Controversy and the Philosophy of Technology from philosophy of science to analyze science's social relevance. The "in" implies working cooperatively with scientists to steer the social implications of their work in more socially appropriate directions, (that is, avoiding unintended consequences) (Fehr and Plaisance 2010;Tuana 2010). ...
Chapter
This chapter addresses a series of philosophical questions that arise in a general consideration of food safety risks, with specific attention to products of gene transfer. The first topic is to demonstrate the sense in which modern technology has converted what were once norms of prudence and self-interest into ethical responsibilities. The next topic is a summary review of the way that food safety experts view food safety risk, followed by a discussion of how this way of thinking is applied to products of gene transfer. From this point, the chapter summarizes a different conceptual framework that shows how the history of food science has created alternative rationalities for thinking about the risks we bear in consuming food. This alternative helps to explain why communication of risks from gene transfer have been so difficult to communicate, and explains why labeling is a component of food safety policy. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how labeling could address some of the ethical tensions created by the tension between expert and lay perspectives on the risks of consuming food.
... The "of" implies using concepts and theories 378 14 Biotechnology, Controversy and the Philosophy of Technology from philosophy of science to analyze science's social relevance. The "in" implies working cooperatively with scientists to steer the social implications of their work in more socially appropriate directions, (that is, avoiding unintended consequences) (Fehr and Plaisance 2010;Tuana 2010). ...
Chapter
Metaphysical claims assert categories and categorical systems for the broadest and most general characterizations of reality and experience. The chapter discusses the nature of metaphysical claims and the role of religious or theological doctrines in lending support to them. Early debates over gene technology emphasized metaphysical and religious topics and questioned whether established doctrines in mainstream religious traditions were compatible with applications of genetic engineering. The chapter surveys those debates, with emphasis to their significance for agrifood biotechnologies, and situates them within the context of other technologies that have been alleged to pose religious or metaphysical challenges. Those who write in favor of gene technology from a religious perspective have not based their arguments on metaphysical claims. Hence, religiously metaphysical arguments tend to take a critical stance toward gene technology. However, metaphysical arguments appear to have decreased in frequency and significance since earlier editions of this book.
... The "of" implies using concepts and theories 378 14 Biotechnology, Controversy and the Philosophy of Technology from philosophy of science to analyze science's social relevance. The "in" implies working cooperatively with scientists to steer the social implications of their work in more socially appropriate directions, (that is, avoiding unintended consequences) (Fehr and Plaisance 2010;Tuana 2010). ...
Chapter
This chapter completes coverage of environmental risks begun in Chap. 6, which emphasized both the philosophical rationale for expected-value risk analysis, along with weaknesses in the way that approach has been applied to agrifood gene technology. This chapter discusses ethical objections to expected value analysis and takes up classical questions in environmental ethics. These include the basis for associating moral value with non-sentient entities such as plants, collectivities such as species or ecosystems and also for nature or the environment itself. The chapter proposes a novel approach to these problems based on the standpoint or attitude of the valuing subject. Classic approaches that stress intrinsic or instrumental valuation presume that valuation proceeds from the perspective of a spectator standing aloof from nature. Although classic approaches have not presumed that this spectator is a human being, the good of any entity derives from the spectator’s gaze. This is consistent with the notion of value as a consumption activity. In contrast, a more engaged, involved or truly environed approach can be elicited by taking the perspective of a producer. This is an especially fortuitous approach for developing an environmental ethics for agriculture and food.