Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Research and Ethics

Today was the last day of the 3-day INN research conference. In the morning was Prof. Alistair Black's session on libraries, which he began with an interesting talk about the architecture of libraries. I used the opportunity of the presence of the students from Krems to have a few meetings with individuals, to discuss plans and progress.

In the afternoon then the session of the PRAXIS centre, which is led by Prof. Dave Webb. The afternoon ended with the scheduled debate between me and Phil Webber, about the importance of ethics in research. Each of us held a 20 min talk, outlining our views on this issue. Actually, we both spoke about slightly different things: while I addressed the basic philosophical issue behind this question from the point of view of the scientist, Phil addressed the issue from the point of view of the funding opportunities, which in his view were too much targetted towards commercial and military benefits rather than ecological and social. So we did not directly address each other's opinion, but after our statements we answered questions from the audience, and a vivid discussion arose.

As a PowerPoint junkie, I had of course prepared a set of "viewgraphs" (vugraphs) which are available for download.

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