Social Issues Essay
Ch 10 Social Issues Q1
In this essay I will be discussing a range of social issues related to the development and research of controversial scientific developments, and considering the extent of responsibility – if any – that scientific researchers have towards how their results are used in today’s world. I will be discussing research in the field of nuclear power, genetic engineering and artificial intelligence, and providing a range of different viewpoints before arriving at my conclusion.
I would like to begin by explaining why I have termed the above developments as controversial. Whether one’s opinion of the relevant subject is based on a range of ethical theories such as consequence-based or character-based ethics, it is clear that the above subject matter inevitably leads to deep thought provocation and strong belief in either side of the relevant argument.
The subject of nuclear power is one such subject which is has been in the news of recent years and has stirred up a great deal of controversy with regards to that nuclear power being used as weapons of mass destruction by Iran1 (BBC News Online, 2006). Iran claims that its research into this field of science is so that the country can produce nuclear energy that will provide electricity to its country. And while many western countries and observers look on with concerns about the issue – and more importantly, Iran’s potential danger to the world with nuclear weapons – I do not believe that the scientists in both Iran or elsewhere in the world should be held responsible for the potential consequences of their ground-breaking advances.