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Scientists and Responsibilities
Network facilitated by Mélodie Faury


The importance of the theme of the responsibility of the scientific and academic worlds ensues from the position that knowledge now holds in the overall development of societies. The ways in which knowledge is developed and used are crucial for the improvement of the well-being of peoples and societies but also produce economic, social, environmental, and political crises that are difficult to solve.

What are the roles of scientists? What are their responsibilities? There is one incontrovertible answer: their roles are ambiguous, information is opaque, and the responsibilities are enormous. To what extent are these responsibilities assumed in a way that is both ethical and respectful of people and of the planet?

The Ethics and responsibilities of the scientific and academic worlds initiative aims to explore this challenge in order to bring out all the aspects of this question and to express proposals or indications for action.

To start with, data will be gathered from the Web sites of the first Sciences and Democracy World Forum (SDWF, Belèm, 2009), from organizations and international and national groups within the activity sectors involved, and in the framework of the Second SDWF (Dakar 2011). The data will be analyzed and targeted contacts will be made in order to study the challenges thoroughly with people and networks open to discussion, or even to collaboration in view of developing follow-up leads likely to make “consciousness” progress and above all specific actions among scientists—their associations and organizations—in terms of their responsibilities at a scientific, as well as social level.

The professionals and networks involved are academics, professors, researchers, students, and research professionals in all disciplines working in research institutes and centers or in any other organization in which their work is closely connected to their scientific expertise in the various fields of knowledge.

Cécile Sabourin
January 19, 2011

Published on: 5 March 2011
Network contributions
How can research be kept free of conflicts of interests? The American Economic Association has formulated specific guidelines for this: good progress and a good reference text, but applying only to articles published in AEA journals. How can this be generalized to the world of scholars?
The forum specifically featured the theme of the responsibility of scientists—professors and researchers. Four paths were suggested for the specific contribution of scientists. Discover them and let us know what you think …
  • In preparation for the second World Science and Democracy Forum, a number of African researchers, in particular Enda-Diapol and IPRA, in partnership with CODESRIA and CRDI began discussions on the political and social responsibility of African researchers ...

  • The theme of responsibility will be present at the World Sciences and Democracy Forum in a round table and in a workshop. We will present the Ethics & Responsibilities Program and the activities we are coordinating to prepare the scientists’ network Reflection on Action document ...

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