Scientists and engineers are generally well regarded and respected for their technical knowledge and expertise. While the general populous considers the science and engineering communities to be part of society as a whole, these communities can seem to consider themselves apart from society, particularly with regard to professional standards, values and responsibilities. As a result, those within and those outside of science and engineering may have different expectations regarding the concept of socially responsible science and engineering. Explicit discussion among members of the science and engineering communities and also with the larger society regarding the range of professional responsibilities and the meaning of social responsibility is essential. Open, proactive discussion is key to clarifying and enhancing the role of science, technology and engineering in promoting the aims of society.
Stephanie J. Bird, PhD is an independent consultant and co-Editor-in-Chief of Science and Engineering Ethics, an international publication that explores ethical issues of concern to scientists and engineers. Now in its 16th year, the journal is widely abstracted and indexed and has been cited by the National Academies as a leading resource for scholarly articles on research integrity. Dr Bird was formerly Special Assistant to the Provost and Vice President for Research of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she developed educational programs that address ethical issues in research and the professional responsibilities of scientists and engineers. She is a laboratory-trained neuroscientist whose current research interests emphasize the ethical, legal and social policy implications of scientific research, especially in the area of neuroscience. Dr. Bird has written numerous articles on issues in the responsible conduct of research and on mentoring and other responsibilities of science and engineering professionals. She also lectures, conducts workshops and is a consultant to government agencies, institutions of higher learning, professional societies, and law firms in the United States and other countries.
More info on the INESPE Lecture Series on the Social Responsibility of Engineers and Scientists at http://inespe.org/lectures/ . The Lecture Series is organized in collaboration with Department of Education, Learning and Philosophy at Aalborg University.