, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 215–220

Speak No Evil: Scientists, Responsibility, and the Public Understanding of Science

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11569-010-0101-z

Cite this article as:
Evans, N.G. Nanoethics (2010) 4: 215. doi:10.1007/s11569-010-0101-z


In this paper, I will discuss the responsibilities that scientists have for ensuring their work is interpreted correctly. I will argue that there are three good reasons for scientists to work to ensure the appropriate communication of their findings. First, I will argue that scientists have a general obligation to ensure scientific research is communicated properly based on the vulnerability of others to the misrepresentation of their work. Second, I will argue that scientists have a special obligation to do so because of the power we as a society invest in them as specialists and professionals. Finally, I will argue that scientists ought to ensure their work is interpreted correctly based on prudential, self-interested considerations. I will conclude by offering suggestions regarding policy considerations.


ResponsibilityApplied ethicsEthics of scienceEthics of technologyCommunicationVulnerabilityScience communication

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public EthicsAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia