The distribution of ethical labor in the scientific community

A new article based on ‘RRI-Practice’ project, published in Journal of Responsible Innovation.

Authors: Vincenzo Politi and Alexei Grinbaum.


To believe that every single scientist ought to be individually engaged in ethical thinking in order for science to be responsible at a collective level may be too demanding, if not plainly unrealistic. In fact, ethical labor is typically distributed across different kinds of scientists within the scientific community. Based on the empirical data collected within the Horizon 2020 ‘RRI-Practice’ project, we propose a classification of the members of the scientific community depending on their engagement in this collective activity. Our classification offers, on the one hand, a model of how the ethical aspects of science are taken into consideration by scientists and, on the other, some indications on how to institutionalize ethics in science.

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