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February 4 and 5, 2011

Responsibility and the Second World Sciences and Democracy Forum


Dakar, Senegal
by Cécile Sabourin

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 ...

The program of the World Sciences and Democracy Forum (WSDF) that will be held in Dakar (Senegal) on February 4 and 5, just before the World Social Forum, is available on the WSDF Web site.

The program comprises two key moments during which responsibility will be discussed, which are:

  • 1. A Round Table on “Science, Responsibility, and Democracy”
    Moderator: Vinod Raina (AIPSN, India)
    Speakers: Hartmut Meyer (ENSSER, Germany), Jose Manoel Rodrigues Vitoriano (University of Valencia, Spain), Gilles Bibeau (University of Montreal, Quebec), Alain Garrigou (Researchers without borders, France), Innocent Butare (CRDI, West Africa)
  • 2. A workshop on “The social and ethical responsibilities of researchers, whistleblowing: obstacles and challenges”
    This workshop is proposed by: the Fondation Sciences Citoyennes (France), ENSSER (Europe), FQPPU (Quebec), Enda-Diapol (Senegal), Institut des Sciences Biomédicales Appliquées (Benin)

This workshop aims at understanding the concrete obstacles and the challenges faced by scientists and academics seeking to be involved in research activities serving global society or community group interests, that is, with no direct concern for commercial fallout (outcomes). In the current context, the public policies pertaining to research have set a climate and conditions that incite researchers to respond to particular expectations, mostly in connection with innovations leading to commercial activities. All disciplinary fields are concerned, including the human sciences. The intrinsic value and the conceptual contribution of the human and social sciences to understanding the various stakes and to setting research directions have often led essentially to instrumental uses such as the development of technoscience. How can this situation be reversed and academic and scientific circles be given the means to assume their responsibilities to global society in an ethical way?

In this workshop, we will present the Ethics & Responsibilities Program and the activities we are coordinating to prepare the scientists’ network Reflection of Action document.

We participated in the development of the program as member of the International Committee. We will also take advantage of our participation at the WSDF to collect interviews and data on the discourse and responsible practices of the world of scientists and ethics.

Published on: 11 January 2011
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Other 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 ...

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