University of Cambridge > > Europe Research Seminar Series > European Added Values: Towards a new Ethical Charter for European Science and Research

European Added Values: Towards a new Ethical Charter for European Science and Research

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The growing importance of research and innovation in European society raises ever more pressing questions of values and ethics. Today, the realisation that European society faces many global ‘grand challenges’ that can only be met by evidence-based scientific research coupled with acceptance by society at large, has meant that Europe’s political leaders are rapidly having to acknowledge the vital importance of the ‘big’ ethical questions to the future of Europe’s research agenda. For instance, what is more important: supporting excellent research wherever it may be, or maintaining principles of equality and fairness in the distribution of research funding? Is the primary purpose of European research to generate knowledge, or to create jobs and promote economic growth in the quest for global competitiveness? What responsibility, if any, do researchers and their funders have to ensure their work is used for the good of society – in Europe and beyond? There are many more such questions and, as the new ‘Horizon 2020’ framework programme comes into force in January 2014, their urgency will inevitably rise for academic researchers, corporate labs, as well as public-sector funders. At issue here are the broader values of European science and research, not merely its economic or social value. This paper will therefore argue for the need for a new ethical charter for European research and propose new standards for European science policy, drawing upon a range of key issue clusters and encouraging a value-driven approach to the future of European innovation.

This talk is part of the Europe Research Seminar Series series.

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