Adventures in Ethics and Science

Reader Patrick made a generous donation to my challenge, and wrote:

I want to thank you for the posts on Ethics. It is a subject that I feel is mostly neglected during a scientist’s formal education. We end up learning by example (not always good), but it should be a required course for everyone with an advanced degree.

Patrick requested a haiku on ethics … but so far, I’ve been having trouble putting something meaningful into 17 syllables. So, I am hopeful that a villanelle about ethics will suffice.


Would it be honest? Would it be fair?
Size up the options in front of me.
O, to be ethical everywhere!

Choose my actions that each might show care,
And not just pass muster legally:
Would it be honest? Would it be fair?

The Kantian has a secret to share:
Honor has its own utility.
O, to be ethical everywhere!

My own vantage point I must compare
With that of each int’rested party.
Would it be honest? Would it be fair?

With reflection I become aware:
Goals and duties weave a tapestry.
O, to be ethical everywhere!

No need to be shark, nor teddy bear.
A project sized for humans like me.
Would it be honest? Would it be fair?
O, to be ethical everywhere!