New ethical careers briefings tackle military and corporate involvement in science and technology

Press release, 24 January 2006
 

How can ethically-minded science and engineering graduates stick to their principles once they’re thrown into the employment market? Help is provided in two new briefings published today by Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR). The first briefing covers the extensive military involvement in science and technology – where nearly a third of public R&D funding is military. The second briefing focuses on the issues raised by large-scale corporate involvement in these fields, as shown by the fact that nearly two-thirds of scientists work in the commercial sector. Both briefings discuss the related ethical issues and how they affect career choice for students and professionals.

The two briefings are the latest of SGR’s very popular series Ethical careers in science, design and technology. The military briefing was written by Dr Chris Langley, author of the acclaimed report Soldiers in the Laboratory: military involvement in science and technology – and some alternatives. The corporate briefing was written by Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director of SGR.

Dr Parkinson said: "Both the military and corporate sectors have huge influence on science and technology, and their involvement raises a wide range of ethical issues. These briefings will help students and professionals navigate these issues and make career choices which have a positive impact on society."

Notes:

  1. SGR is an independent UK organisation of approximately 850 members across the natural and social sciences, engineering, IT, architecture and design. Its main aim is to promote ethical science, design and technology – based on the principles of openness, accountability, peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability. For more information see our website.
  2. The two 8-page briefings are entitled Scientists or soldiers? Career choice, ethics and the military and Corporations and career choice in science and technology and can be downloaded via the ethical careers section of the SGR website. The other five 8-page briefings in SGR’s ethical careers series are:

•  Unscrambling a space career from military forces
•  Your career and sustainable development
•  Career choice and climate change
•  Cleaner technologies: a positive choice
•  Career choice, ethics and animal experimentation.

A 32-page introductory booklet is also available. Demand for these publications has proved to be very high with a total of over 8500 copies being distributed to date. Copies of all these documents can also be downloaded via SGR's ethical careers webpages.