The trend towards the ethicization of scientific questions should not be taken for granted. Initiated by the biosciences – and thereby by science itself – other disciplines meanwhile have different needs and idiosyncrasies.
With the conference "Ethicization ¬– Distance from Ethics. How much Ethics do the Sciences Need?" the RG Ethics joined the debate in 2001 and discussed three topical focal points:
- The model character of the bioscientific ethics debate for other disciplines: Can the discussion of ethical questions, as can currently be witnessed in the biosciences, serve as a model for other disciplines?
- The commercialization and privatisation of knowledge and science: How are research funds allocated? What problems are caused by unequal chances of tapping knowledge resources? In how far do ethical challenges for the sciences change with new economic and technical parameters?
- The personal responsibility of the individual scientist: When do ethical norms originate in an individual scientist? Is this an irreversible process which continues to produce further ethical norms, or is there also a tendency for a "de-ethicization"?
Following the conference, the conference proceedings were published under the same title ("Ethisierung – Ethikferne. Wie viel Ethik braucht die Wissenschaft?") with the Akademie Verlag.