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ERIC Number: EJ1194226
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1747-0161
The Relational Responsibilities of Scientists: (Re) Considering Science as a Practice
Bezuidenhout, Louise
Research Ethics, v13 n2 p65-83 Apr 2017
Studies of science are increasingly drawing attention to the highly communal nature of research. Ethics, sociology, philosophy, and anthropology of science all emphasize the key role that collaborative actions play in the generation of scientific knowledge. Nonetheless, despite the increasing interest in these communal aspects of scientific research, studies on the relationships underpinning communality are commonly focused on the how the individual interacts with their peers and contributes to the epistemic activities of science. In contrast, there is little literature that broadens out the scope of this analysis to consider the multidimensional nature of these research relationships. In particular, little is said about how scientists mediate their social interactions with peers during daily laboratory research. Less, indeed, is said about the tradition of 'learning through example' that characterizes most in situ laboratory training. All of these relational activities are of critical importance in sustaining and perpetuating the practice of science. It therefore becomes important to ask how we understand these relational activities directed towards building and sustaining relationships in different loci for the primary purpose of strengthening the practice of research and sustaining the traditions of scientific research. Moreover, it is vital to consider how discussions on responsibility may be cached out for individual scientists. This article employs a virtue ethics approach to consider these issues. It begins by sketching out the plethora of different relationships present in daily laboratory practice using existing ethnographic studies. It then uses virtue ethics to identify specific responsibilities that individual scientists have in cultivating and safeguarding the development of these relationships. It concludes by suggesting ways in which these issues may be taken up in teaching responsible conduct to scientists.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A