Reports & briefings

SGR's project work often includes the publication of in-depth reports or shorter briefings. Electronic copies of those listed below can be downloaded. Printed copies may also be available to purchase - see here [add link]

Results 1 - 10 of 26

The UK government is due to make a decision in 2016 on whether to approve a like-for-like replacement of its submarine-based Trident nuclear weapons system. The purpose of this report is to inform the debate – by highlighting the latest scientific and technical information about the risks posed by the continued deployment of Britain’s weapon of mass destruction.

SGR report by Dr Philip Webber and Dr Stuart Parkinson.; 6 August 2015
 

Examining the evidence

This report, published by Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), critically reviews current evidence across a number of issues associated with shale gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing (fracking). These include environmental and public health aspects, and socio-economic considerations. The report raises a number of important concerns, especially regarding regulation of the industry and problems related to climate change.

Following subsequent criticism by some supporters of fracking, we have also produced a rebuttal of their main points.

21 July 2014 (updated 14 August 2014)
 

This briefing presents evidence that the detonation of the nuclear warheads carried on just one UK Trident submarine would lead to vast quantities of smoke being generated that would led to a sharp climate cooling, causing a global crop failure which would threaten the lives of some 1 billion people. This would be in addition to the deaths of over 10 million people killed directly by blast, fire and fallout from the nuclear explosions.

SGR briefing by Dr Philip Webber; 26 February 2013.
 

Assisted by Dr Philip Webber, SGR, the campaign group Article 36 has published a short case study of the direct humanitarian impacts from a single nuclear weapon detonation on Manchester, UK. This study is intended as a reminder of the devastating impact that just one nuclear warhead - of the size of a Trident warhead - can cause to a city.

26 February 2013
 

The detrimental effects of commercial influence on science and technology

SGR report by Chris Langley and Stuart Parkinson; October 2009

It is no secret that links between the commercial sectors and science and technology are increasing. Many policy-makers, business leaders and members of the science community argue that this is positive for both science and society. But there is growing evidence that the science commercialisation agenda brings with it a wide range of detrimental effects, including bias, conflicts of interest, a narrowing of the research agenda, and misrepresentation of research results. This report takes an in-depth look at the evidence for these effects across five sectors: pharmaceuticals; tobacco; military/defence; oil and gas; and biotechnology. Its findings make disturbing reading for all concerned about the positive role of science and technology in our society.
 

Military influence, commercial pressures and the compromised university

SGR briefing by Chris Langley, Stuart Parkinson and Philip Webber; June 2008

This briefing builds upon the disclosures of, and recommendations provided in, Soldiers in the Laboratory and More Soldiers in the Laboratory and focuses on the impact of military sector influence within the research and teaching environment of universities in the UK.
 

The militarisation of science and technology - an update

SGR briefing by Chris Langley, Stuart and Philip Webber; August 2007

This briefing provides an update to Soldiers In The Laboratory. In addition to SGR's latest findings about the power and influence of the military in science, engineering and technology (SET) in the UK and elsewhere since the previous report was written, this briefing also highlights some of the problems encountered in obtaining detailed information on military involvement in R&D despite the entry into force of the Freedom of Information Act. The report also documents the huge imbalance between government R&D funding of the military and funding to tackle ill-health, environmental degradation and poverty, and argues that a major shift in resources towards supporting social justice and environmental protection and away from the military is needed.
 

SGR briefing by Anne Chapman, October 2006

The chemical industry is one of the major employers in science and technology. On the one hand, its products have greatly expanded the range of materials available to society but, on the other, some of the synthetic chemicals it produces cause significant harm to human health and to the environment. This briefing discusses the main ethical issues related to this industrial sector, as well as new developments in regulation and technology, and assesses how these affect career choice. It points to areas which have potential to improve the environmental and health performance of the sector.
 

12 inspiring cases of ethical careers in science and technology

SGR ethical careers booklet edited by Stuart Parkinson and Vanessa Spedding; April 2006

12 scientists and engineers tell of their experiences in trying to follow an ethical career. The cases cover a wide range of issues relating to the environment, social justice, the military, and animal welfare.
 

SGR ethical careers briefing by Stuart Parkinson; January 2006

Corporations have become one of the most powerful influences within science and technology in recent years. This has thrown up many ethical concerns, not least the issue of whether their involvement has a distorting influence on the direction of research and development. This briefing outlines the key ethical issues in this area, and discusses how these affect career choice for scientists and engineers. It gives tips on spotting ethical corporations and looks at alternative career options in the public and non-profit sectors.