The Values Of Scientific Ethics: A Way To Face Inequality

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 8:30 AM
Room: F202
Oral Presentation
Judith PÉREZ-CASTRO , Education and Arts Department, Juarez Autonomous University of Tabasco, Villahermosa, Mexico
Scientific work is one of the most socially valued activities, as it is a complex task that requires specialized professionals and very specific knowledge and skills. Science characterizes itself because its permanent growth and its self-regulation. It means that any proper or formal research has to be necessarily subjected to scrutiny, refutation and peer approval. Scientific work can be profitable and advantageous. In fact, nowadays, science and technology are usually considered strategic areas to the economic growth, innovation, productivity and competitiveness.

However, impacts of scientific research cannot remain only in the economic field; on the contrary, it must also help the social, communal and personal development. In this paper, we talk about the social responsibility of science and how their results can contribute to improve the living conditions of individuals and to reduce inequality. At first, we analyze the values that support scientific ethics and then we discuss about the ethics of commitment and social responsibility.

We focus mainly on three principles: 1) the observance of the integrity and the respect of the human rights, 2) the social commitment of research and 3) the social justice to the individuals, communities and countries where the research is carried out. Then, we present the results obtained from a study developed with a group of professors-researches from the Juarez Autonomous University of Tabasco. The objective was to identify the values that distinguish their work as researchers.

The results showed us that, regarding scientific ethics, some values such as objectivity, self-regulation, confidentiality, professional collaboration and the pursuit of knowledge are deeply seated in the researchers’ practices; however, social commitment and responsibility seem to be less important to the researchers’ work, especially when they have to compete for funding or when complying with the deadline and amount of production.