Role models to inspire a new generation of ethical scientists and engineers

Press release, 6 April 2006

How can ethically-minded science and engineering graduates stick to their principles once they're thrown into the employment market? Practical help is provided in a new booklet published today by Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR). The booklet contains twelve inspiring case histories of scientists and engineers who have prioritised ethical concerns during their career.

The twelve cases cover a diverse range of career paths. They span the disciplines from engineering and the physical sciences, through the life sciences and medicine, to the social sciences. They explore ethical issues relating to military and corporate involvement, environmental protection, social justice and animal welfare. And while most are based in the UK , many have worked, studied or lived abroad. Some of the twelve have found it quite straightforward to pursue an ‘ethical career', but others have struggled against powerful vested interests.

The booklet is the latest publication from SGR's very popular programme, Ethical careers in science, design and technology . The booklet was edited by Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director of SGR, and Vanessa Spedding, a freelance science writer.

Dr Parkinson said: "More students and graduates are becoming interested in ethical career options – but in the science and technology sectors there is limited information to guide them. In this booklet we give a voice to a selection of role models with genuinely uplifting tales to tell of challenge and sometimes, transformation. Not only is it a good read, it will also help inspire others with the determination and confidence to put their principles into practice and take control of their own careers."


  1. Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) carries out research, education, and lobbying centred around the military, environmental and political aspects of science, design and technology and provides a support network for ethically-concerned professionals in these areas. For more information, see the newly-updated SGR website.
  2. 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 /
  3. The booklet is entitled Critical Paths: 12 inspiring cases of ethical careers in science and technology and is downloadable from /ethics.html
  4. SGR's ethical careers series includes eight other publications – a 32-page introductory booklet, together with the following 8-page briefings:
    •  Scientists or soldiers? Career choice, ethics and the military
    •  Corporations and career choice in science and technology
    •  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.

To download copies of all these documents, or for more information on this work including a list of ‘ethical employers', visit /ethics.html


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