, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 299-308
Date: 03 Nov 2011

Extended Report from Working Group 5: Social Responsibility of Scientists at the 59th Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs in Berlin, 1–4 July 2011

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Social responsibility is a core element in all Pugwash activities. Since the first Pugwash conference the topic has from time to time been included on the agenda of Pugwash conferences and workshops. At the 59th Pugwash conference, held in Berlin from 1–4 July 2011, a working group met for thorough discussions of this subject. The working group had 20 participants from 11 countries. More than half of the participants had a background in physics, but also social scientists, scholars of the humanities and other natural sciences were represented. Ten papers were presented and discussed in the working group.

The deliberations in the working group revealed that responsibilities of scientists look different depending on which perspective it is approached from. Scientists, decision-makers and consumers may perceive social responsibility of scientists and technical experts quite differently. The issue of responsibility is complicated by highly charged differences in the perception of trends in ...

Conveners: Lothar Brock and John Finney.