Positivism and ethics• Positivism: foundational methods of inquiry• Logic and maths as the foundational basis of natural laws• Science should proceed through a rigourous process of deduction from basic definitions and self-evident principles of reason• Science can be built brick by brick from observing the world• Prediction or verification, replication by others, corroborating experimental results, or real world applications –
Maths wrong; are models revised? Ethics? Robert Nadeau in The Scientific American argues that: The 19th-century fathers of neoclassical economics—the theory that underpins the global market system and industrial agriculture—used maths to make economics more of a scientific discipline. These economists—William Stanley Jevons, Léon Walras, Maria Edgeworth and Vilfredo Pareto—developed their theories by adapting equations from 19th-century physics that eventually became obsolete. Neoclassical economics has also become outdated. The theory is based on unscientific assumptions that are hindering the implementation of viable economic solutions for global warming and other menacing environmental problems.http://www.theoben.blogspot.ca/2008/06/economist-has-no-clothes.html
Progress & ethics• Justification – scientific criteria were developed that were independent from moral, ethical, religious or political norms• Until recently the main limits to interference in life were of a technical kind: what is possible? Now scientists are faced with ethical limits: what is acceptable to do in biotechnology?• In 1999 in Europe the cloning of animals was grouped together with food biotechnology as the least accepted application of biotechnology• This was so even though the assessed application of cloning was medical; a use that generally has higher public acceptance
Ethics in Science Henry H. Bauer, Professor of Chemistry & Science Studies Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0227• Why do scientists study some things but not others? Why is it scientific to speculate about how the universe began but not scientific to study UFOs or whether the Loch Ness monsters exist? What makes science so much more reliable than sociology?• "science studies", or "science & technology studies", tries to understand not only how science works but also how it affects society and politics and religion - and how those affect science. Nowadays, a lot of interaction between science and the rest of society has to do with ethical questions about science.
Internal ethics• "A Michigan judge ordered the University of Michigan . . . to pay $1.2 million in damages to a scientist after a jury found that her supervisor had stolen credit for her research and that the university had failed to investigate properly."• July 1993: Leo A. Paquette, professor of chemistry at Ohio State University; and James H. Freisheim, former chairman of the Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Medical College of Ohio . . . plagiarized grant applications the scientists had reviewed"• August 1993: "Kekulé was a German supernationalist who invented the dream [about the ring structure of benzene, a snake biting its tail] so he wouldnt have to cite previous work . . . by researchers from Austria, France, and Scotland"
http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/• In 1993 Professor Harry Gibson gave colleagues in the Chemistry Department copies of his letter to a granting agency about a proposal he had been sent to review. He wrote, "Unfortunately, the proposal was plagiarized from my proposal of 1990".• In his memoir The Double Helix, Nobel-Prize- winner J. D. Watson described getting data that its owner would not have wanted him to see.
The scientific community on scientific misconduct• Rustum Roy, Professor of Materials Science at Penn State, himself an outspoken critic of some corrupt practices in modern science, used a press conference to announce a new method for making synthetic diamond, and justified that as "the only way to prevent . . . a small group of peer reviewers . . . [having] an advance chance to duplicate the work in their labs".• In X-ray crystallography, it had become routine to publish structures of complex substances without giving the raw data, so that others couldnt do proper checks or build on the work.
science progresses with sound, reliable results only to the degree that scientists are honest.• In the hurry to develop high-temperature superconductors "scientific results were announced first in the press to gain a few days on other groups. . . . [One researcher] applied for a patent [and then] submitted a paper containing two systematic mistakes making it useless to any reader. . . . [and gave] a press conference . . . announcing - without giving any detail - the discovery . . . . Only . . . at the latest possible date, did he send his corrections to the journal".
Ethics in Science Congress Graduate School for Production Ecology & Resource Conservation (PE&RC) Date: Thur Nov 28, 2002• To what extent may one intervene in an ecosystem to keep it stable? Is it acceptable and justifiable to kill an endangered species because it might otherwise jeopardize the well-being of humans or other more endangered species?• If research is not allowed in one country, should you then go to another country where it is allowed?• Should much money be spent on research on life-extending medicines, whereas thousands of lives in third world countries could be saved with the same amount of money?
On Oct 30 in the Debate on the Kyoto Protocol held in the David Strong Bldg at Uvic one of the scientists said the only thing wrong with nuclear technology is that the waste was not being used properly
Cold war technology• Spin-off technologies from the cold war—sonar, satellite data and the Global Positioning System (GPS)— have led to an unprecedented decline in fish stocks worldwide, according to a In a Perfect UBC study. Fisherman now have an unprecedented view of the ocean— Ocean: The enabling them to guide their nets State Of around sea mountains, drop them into Fisheries And deep ocean abysses, and navigate Ecosystems in almost every rock pile like an the North underwater video game. Atlantic Ocean, Daniel Pauly
In a Perfect Ocean: The State OfFisheries And Ecosystems in the North Atlantic Ocean, Daniel Pauly• The total weight of tablefish—species eaten by man—in the oceans has declined by a total of 85 percent in the last century and continues to decline at 2 percent or more per year. Many species are being hunted right down to the last fish.
Cold war military technologies have devastated global fish populations Bijal P. Trivedi National Geographic Feb 25, 2002• The US Geological Survey produced detailed three dimensional maps of the ocean floor using sonar. With sonar maps fisherman can identify the best regions to fish and the improved GPS directs their ships precisely to that spot. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) releases a daily fax to Atlantic swordfish fleets with satellite pictures revealing sea- surface temperatures around fishing grounds. Big fish— like swordfish and bluefin tuna—are attracted to fronts where cold and warm waters meet. The satellite data guides the fishermen directly to these fronts. Many fishing vessels now carry sonar to locate schools of fish.•
Cold war military technologies have devastated global fish populations Bijal P. Trivedi National Geographic Feb 25, 2002• Some nets are even outfitted with sonar to allow fishermen to steer their nets around obstacles and keep fishing lines at the same depth as their target. The bluefin tuna trade is so lucrative—one fish fetches $10,000 or more in Japanese fish markets—that fishermen even hire pilots to cruise around in spotter planes to locate a school of tuna, which at six to nine feet long, are easy to spot.
• A diet containing a lot of fish should lower the risk of a heart attack. No says Professor Frans Kok of the Human Nutrition and Epidemiology Group at Wageningen University (published in the New England Journal of Medicine). The effect of mercury in fish almost completely negates the protective effect. Kok’s international research group examined 700 men in 8 EU countries and Israel. They discovered that the concentration of mercury in the men’s toenails was much higher when there was more fatty acid from fish in the fat samples.• About two thirds of the mercury in the sea comes from environmental pollution. Fish and algae convert this inorganic mercury into methyl mercury which deactivates enzymes in the human body that are needed to protect cells, and it also contaminates cholesterol and encourages the formation of blood clots.
The researchers separated the effects of mercury and fish fatty acids by statistical analysis. The group with a higher intake of mercury had a fifty percent higher chance of a heart attack than the group with lower mercury intake. But because the higher risk group had absorbed the mercury through fish they still received some protection from the fatty acids. Without this, the chance of a heart attack would have been 116 percent higher.http://resource.wur.nl/wetenschap/detail/mercury-levels-in-fish-undo-protective-effect-of-oily-fish-in-the-human-die/
Dr Michiel Kotterman of the fish research instituteRivo found that fish at the top of the food chainwere the worse sources of mercury. Swordfishand the shark contain about one milligram ofmercury per kilogram. Tuna, trout, pike and perchhave a middle score (a tenth to a half of theamount found in the high group). Shellfish have alow mercury score.
sonar system vs marine mammals• SAN FRANCISCO, October 31, 2002 (ENS) - A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction stopping the U.S. Navy from deployment of a new high intensity sonar system that could hurt marine mammals with its loud signals.
http://www.nrdc.org/wildlife/marine/sonar.asp• Granting a request by five environmental groups (NRDC, the Humane Society, the League for Coastal Protection, the Cetacean Society International, and the Ocean Futures Society) the U.S. Judge ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service issued the Navy a permit that likely violates federal law (Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.
U.S. Navy Sonar System Blocked by Federal Court Environment News Service (ENS) 2002• On July 15, the Navy received its permit to "harass marine mammals" while operating low frequency sonar on 2 ships to detect submarines; remaining outside the range of their onboard weapons (the Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active sonar (SURTASS LFA)). The sonar relies on very loud, low frequency sound to detect submarines at great distances. This sonar has been measured at 140 decibels 300 miles away from the sounds source.•
• Judge LaPorte claimed "It is undisputed that marine mammals, many of whom depend on sensitive hearing for essential activities like finding food and mates and avoiding predators, and some of whom are endangered species, will at minimum be harassed by the extremely loud and far traveling LFA sonar." "Deployment of LFA over 75 percent of the worlds oceans, more than 14 million square miles in the first year alone, threatens marine life on a staggering and unprecedented geographic scale“.
U.S. Navy Sonar System Blocked by Federal Court Environment News Service (ENS) 2002• There are two types of sonar. Passive sonar listens for noises in the water. Active sonar sends out a loud, low-frequency signal and waits for responding signals that bounce off distant objects such as submarines. Scientists claimed that, during testing off the California coast, noise from a single LFA system was detected across the breadth of the North Pacific Ocean.• Still, in granting the permit, the National Marine Fisheries Service said the sonar will have "no more than a negligible impact on the affected species,“ and "will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of these species or stock(s) for subsistence uses.“•
will not have an unmitigable adverse impact The mass stranding of multiple whale species in the Bahamas in March 2000 and the simultaneous disappearance of the regions entire population of beaked whales has been linked to a U.S. Navy mid- frequency active sonar system. In late September, new mass strandings occurred in the Canary Islands as a result of NATO military sonar, and in the Gulf of California two whales died as the likely result of an acoustic geophysical survey using loud air guns.
12/31/2001) U.S. Navy finally admitsNorth Pacific Ocean testing of sonar system caused mass stranding and deaths of whales in Bahamas after x-rays find noise-induced bleeding, ruptured membranes, and other signs of trauma to their ears, brains and throats. The report, approved by Navy Secretary Gordon R. England, concludes that the Navy should "put into place mitigation measures that will protect animals to the maximum extent practical" during peacetime training and research efforts. But the report also allows for the suspension of such protections in the interest of "national security," a broad exemption that has yet to be defined in practice.
• The report, a joint project of the Navy and the National Marine Fisheries Service, grew out of the beaching of 16 whales and a spotted dolphin on Bahamian shores over 36 hours starting March 15, 2000. Seven of the animals - five Cuviers beaked whales, one Blainvilles beaked whale and the dolphin - died. Ten other whales were pushed back to sea, and their fates are unknown. Beaked whales are too poorly understood to know whether they are endangered.
• The strandings coincided with a nearby Navy exercise meant to improve coordination among ships sailing through enemy- infested channels. The test involved middle-frequency (about 3,000 to 7,000 cycles per second) sonar studies in which underwater noises of about 230 decibels were generated. Tissue damage in sea animals is known to occur at about 180 decibels, and a 230-decibel sonar sound is about 100,000 times louder than that (the decibel scale increases logarithmically).
• (Ken Balcomb runs the Bahamas Marine Mammal Survey on the Bahamian island of Abaco. Balcomb and his colleagues cut off two dead whales heads. "We went to the local restaurant and put them in the freezer," - each head was about 4 ft long and weighed 200 pounds. National Marine Fisheries Service scientists flew out to study the beached carcasses. Arrangements were made with Darlene Ketten, a whale hearing specialist with Harvards department of otology and laryngology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute to perform three-dimensional CT scan studies of the frozen heads.• The X-ray studies showed bleeding around the inner ears, along with trauma to the auditory system and parts of the brain and throat sensitive to intense pressures. In one animal, the ligament that holds an eardrum-like membrane taut had ruptured, evidence of having been exposed to a powerful physical force.
• Other studies found that all but one of the animals had been healthy (the dolphin was diseased, and its death was not linked to the Navy), and the report ruled out other causes of injury. It remains unclear whether the whales were fatally injured by the sounds themselves or whether the sound-related injuries disoriented the animals, sending them ashore, where they overheated and drowned, said NMFS. Navy spokesman Patrick McNally said the Navy believes that the injuries were caused by the unique characteristics of Bahamian underwater topography and other factors, and that similar tests may still be appropriate in other waters.