Emerging technologies

SGR produces a range of resources on the issue of 'Emerging technologies'. This covers a wide range of new and controversial technologies such as hydraulic fracturing (fracking), artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, climate/ geo-engineering, genetically-modified organisms and synthetic biology, and nanotechnologies. An explicit concern is the adequate application of the precautionary principle, and the possible alternatives to emerging technologies, including 'appropriate' technology and non-technological solutions such economic, political or social change.

10 results

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)
 

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.
 

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.
 

Summary by Philip Webber, SGR, June 2002
 

Summary and full report, May 2002 
 

Report IV, May 2002 
 

Report V, May 2002 
 

This booklet takes an initial look at issues such as genetics, climate change, arms, militarisation of space, animal experiments, cleaner technology, information technology, and science funding. In addition, it describes the experiences of working scientists and how they have dealt with many of these issues. Contributors include Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Sir Joseph Rotblat, inventor of the World-Wide-Web Dr Tim Berners-Lee and the well-known commentator on biotechnology issues Dr Mae Wan Ho.

SGR ethical careers booklet, edited by Stuart Parkinson and Vanessa Spedding; summer 2001