Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for April, 2009

Yesterday, I shared a conundrum with you and asked you what you would do as a member of the tribe of science if you got a gut feeling that another member of the tribe with whom you had limited engagement was shady, either disengage ASAP or engage more closely. Today, as promised, I share my…

In an earlier post, I pointed you toward the preliminary report (PDF here) issued by the Minnesota Pandemic Ethics Project this January. This report sets out a plan for the state of Minnesota to ration vital resources in the event of a severe influenza pandemic. Now, a rationing plan devised by an ethics project is…

The other night as I was falling asleep, a situation occurred to me that struck me as something of a conundrum. (Remarkably, I still remembered the situation when I woke up.) I’ve been working out my own take on this situation — what’s at stake in responding to it one way or another — but…

Dr. Isis has some rollicking good discussions going on at her pad about who might care about blogs, and what role they might play in scientific education, training, and interactions. (Part one, part two.) On the second of these posts, a comment from Pascale lodged itself in my brain: I think a lot of impressionable…

In my last post, I looked at some of the ethical considerations an individual might make during a flu epidemic. My focus was squarely on the individual’s decisions: whether to stay in bed or seek medical care, whether to seek aid from others, etc. This is the kind of everyday ethics that crops up for…

Like a lot of other people, I’m watching the swine flu outbreaks unfold with some interest. As they do, I can’t help but think about the ethical dimensions of our interactions with other humans, since it’s looking like any of us could become a vector of disease. There are some fairly easy ethical calls here…

Ask a silly question …

Ah, Spring! The time of year when children wear sandals and then admonish their siblings not to pick their toes on the way to pot-luck dinners. Yesterday’s toe picking prompted me to tweet a question that was mostly facetious:

Swine flu and air travel.

Probably you’ve been reading about the new swine flu outbreak on Effect Measure and Aetiology. At this stage, public health officials are keeping careful watch on this epidemic to try to keep it from becoming a pandemic. And this is the news in the back of my mind as I need to arrange air travel…

Yesterday I worked my way through the hundred’s of comments on PZ’s I am Pro-Test post. One theme that kept cropping up was that a great deal of animal testing is unnecessary, and that informed and attentive consumers should be able to kill the demand for it. I thought, therefore, that it would be worth…

After considering the many different roadblocks that seems to appear when people try to discuss research with animals (as we did in parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of this series), it might be tempting to throw up your hands and say, “Well, I guess there’s no point in doing that, then!” Resist…