Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 503–523 | Cite as

Intrinsic Ethics Regarding Integrated Assessment Models for Climate Management

  • Erich W. Schienke
  • Seth D. Baum
  • Nancy Tuana
  • Kenneth J. Davis
  • Klaus Keller


In this essay we develop and argue for the adoption of a more comprehensive model of research ethics than is included within current conceptions of responsible conduct of research (RCR). We argue that our model, which we label the ethical dimensions of scientific research (EDSR), is a more comprehensive approach to encouraging ethically responsible scientific research compared to the currently typically adopted approach in RCR training. This essay focuses on developing a pedagogical approach that enables scientists to better understand and appreciate one important component of this model, what we call intrinsic ethics. Intrinsic ethical issues arise when values and ethical assumptions are embedded within scientific findings and analytical methods. Through a close examination of a case study and its application in teaching, namely, evaluation of climate change integrated assessment models, this paper develops a method and case for including intrinsic ethics within research ethics training to provide scientists with a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the critical role of values and ethical choices in the production of research outcomes.


Research ethics Intrinsic ethics Integrated assessment models Climate management Ethical dimensions of scientific research (EDSR) Optimal growth models 



We would like to acknowledge the National Science Foundation’s Ethics in Engineering and Science Education grant (0529766) for its generous support. Any opinion and potential errors are, of course, attributed to the authors and not to the funding agency. The authors would like to thank the reviewers for their helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erich W. Schienke
    • 1
  • Seth D. Baum
    • 3
  • Nancy Tuana
    • 2
  • Kenneth J. Davis
    • 4
  • Klaus Keller
    • 5
  1. 1.Science, Technology, and Society ProgramThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Philosophy, Rock Ethics InstituteThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  3. 3.Department of GeographyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  4. 4.Department of MeteorologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  5. 5.Department of GeosciencesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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