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Ethical norms of science communication: Challenges and prospects

Journal: The Digital Scholar: Philosopher’s Lab (Vol.2, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 132-142

Keywords : science communication; ethics; epistemic trust; social contract for science; epistemic equality;

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This article studies the major trends and problems in the ethics of external scientific communication (science communication), which currently possesses no specific and generally accepted code of ethical standards. This is partially due to the fact that the notion of ‘science communication' refers to a quite interdisciplinary field of academic research, and also to a number of related professional practices. The first part of the article focuses on how the normative scientific ethos relates to science communication. The second part considers the problem of epistemic trust and some possible ways to solve it (epistemic division of labor vs. epistemic equality and equal respect). The third part studies the intricacies emerging from applying any ethical principle prescribed to science communication and demonstrates the presence of ambivalence (the concept of R. Merton) in the choice between the ethical imperatives. Furthermore, the author shows that the relevance of any principle for each case depends on the audience and the aims of communication. In describing and evaluating these issues, the author relies on the works by Robert Keohane and his colleagues, as well as by Stephen John.

Last modified: 2020-03-03 19:50:34