Ethical aspects of scientific progress
- Cite this article as:
- Oosterlinck, A. European Journal for Education Law and Policy (1999) 3: 117. doi:10.1023/A:1022940528966
Ethics and science are much more closely connected than some people assume. Erroneous perceptions of the nature of ethics are the probable cause of this. Ethics is an intrinsic and productive component of scientific work, not some external or retrospective obstruction of “real” scientific research. The ethical component is positively influenced by a thorough knowledge of the discipline it belongs to. Science thrives in a climate of freedom, but this must not be used as an alibi to circumvent social responsibility and ethical concern. Ethical science has a direct bearing on science policy. Giving due attention to the ethical aspect of scientific work leads to several tangible results. It increases interdisciplinary openness, it promotes the communicability of science, and, ideally, it demonstrates the difference between knowledge and wisdom.