I was amazed (and a little horrified) by the number of stories having to do with ethics in science over the last week. As a student at the School of Information, we heard quite a bit about the incident of public shaming and resulting fallout from PyCon (a conference about the Python programming language). There was a lot of scuttlebutt and some serious discussion about the role of sexism in STEM. On the heels of this came the “revelation” that the I F*cking Love Science (IFLS) blog was run by *gasp* a woman! Twitter was absolutely flooded with posts about #science, #ethics and #sexism.
The ethics of naming and shaming. This is the best high-level piece I’ve seen on this subject. blogs.scientificamerican.com/doing-good-sci…
— ashe dryden (@ashedryden) March 25, 2013
— Nilofer Merchant (@nilofer) March 24, 2013
— Karla Porter (@karla_porter) March 23, 2013
This morning, I spoke on CBS News about the plight of women in science, with the creator of the blog “I f*** love science.”
— Dr. Michio Kaku (@michiokaku) March 27, 2013
— Don Higgins (@SerfCity) March 22, 2013
Around the same time these issues were being discussed, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory at Heidelberg published a paper which released the full genomic sequencing of a strain of commonly used HeLa cells, as noted by Forbes. This brought up questions about personal genomics and privacy. You can follow this conversation on the following hashtags #HeLa, #privacy, #bioethics, #genomics.
— Rebecca Skloot (@RebeccaSkloot) March 23, 2013
— Berman Institute(@bermaninstitute) March 27, 2013
— DNLee (@DNLee5) March 24, 2013
— Toni Segovia (@toni_segovia) March 24, 2013
And, to add a strange twist to our ethics discussions this week, Australian scientists have been able to resurrect an extinct frog as part of the Lazarus Project, while researchers in the US attempt to bring back the carrier pigeon. Both of these #deextinction initiatives have gotten Twitter talking about wooly mammoths and Jurassic Park.
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) March 22, 2013
— GLP (@GeneticLiteracy) March 26, 2013
— Revive & Restore (@Revive_Restore) March 25, 2013
Monday’s 2nd hour: The science and ethics of bringing extinct animals back to life thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2013-03-…
— The Kojo Nnamdi Show (@kojoshow) March 22, 2013
SCIENCE: They’ve now got a name for it – ‘De-extinction’ – and a wish-list of the first 24 extinct animals to be… fb.me/14dWONV4G
— Mute Planet (@Tessercraft) March 25, 2013