Responsible Research in the Life Sciences
On October 31st, the Science Studies Colloquium Series organised a panel on Responsible Research in the Life Sciences at Oslo Litteraturhuset. Anne Kveim Lie (Institute of Health and Society) and Kristin Asdal (TIK) chaired the discussion.
Researchers in the life sciences and in the human and social sciences alike are increasingly confronted to issues of "responsibility" - in the life sciences, because they are asked to conduct "responsible research", and in the human and social sciences, because they are convoked to reflect upon what researching responsibly could and should mean. The Science Studies Colloquium series invited three researchers from the natural and social sciences to share their experiences and reflect together on the topic: Hannah Landecker, Director of the Institute for Society and Genetics at UCLA; Tiago Moreira, Professor in Sociology at Durham University; and Kjetill Jakobsen, Professor at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis at the University of Oslo. Each speaker gave a snapshot of their practical encounters with matters of responsibility in the life science. This was followed by a lively discussion with the public.
The discussions spanned a vast array of topics: the interdisciplinary Bachelor programme of the Institute for Society and Genetics that trains students who want to learn "the skills of scientific knowledge in the world" but also fosters mutual learning between social and biological scientists; the funding requirements and how they lead researchers to adapt their research and work on topics selected by funders - for instance, aquaculture in Norway; the controversies among life scientists regarding both what is possible withing biology of aging but also what should be the purpose of this research; the evolutions in biology research; or the issue of open access in academic publishing.
These reflections will continue in a second event on Responsible Research in the Life Sciences, to take place on November 14th.