New initiatives to strengthen scientific freedom and responsibility in the contemporary world

An Expert Writing Group was established to develop a paper that will be extremely important to the work of CFRS in the coming years, Scientific Freedom and Responsibility in the 21st Century: a contemporary perspective on the responsible practice of science.

CDC

The paper explores contemporary perspectives on the meaning and interpretation of scientific freedom and responsibility, including the responsibility of scientists to engage in providing advice to policy-makers, to communicate their results to the general public, and to advocate for the value of science and for scientific values. The paper is currently being reviewed and will be shared with ISC Members in the second half of 2021.

‘Scientific freedoms and responsibilities exist in the contemporary context in which scientists work […] answers and perspectives change because societies change, and any given solution is just a snapshot in time. Freedom and responsibility in science is a theme which needs to be revisited every few decades.’

From: Scientific Freedom and Responsibility in the 21st Century: a contemporary perspective on the responsible practice of science (forthcoming)

During 2020, CFRS entered into a collaboration with the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) for a project that will develop guidelines for professional conduct for scientists working in emergencies. The Committee is also overseeing the development of several projects covered in the later pages of this report, namely: Science in exile, Gender equality in science and Combating systemic discrimination in science.

The New Zealand government has actively supported CFRS since 2016. This support was generously renewed in 2019, with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment supporting CFRS via CFRS Special Advisor Frances Vaughan, based at Royal Society Te Apārangi, and by Dr Roger Ridley, Director Expert Advice and Practice, Royal Society Te Apārangi.


Image: CDC

Next up: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 

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