Public Trust in Science and Research
responsibility and ethics
Keywords:social licence, governance, democracy, new technology, responsible research, te Tiriti o Waitangi
Innovation in science and research technology often raises questions of acceptability, ethics and governance processes. This article explores research assessment and ethics frameworks based on values, responsibility, relationships, trust and distributed power, which could give guidance to decision making around research and development investments in scientific institutes. Governance using a responsibility lens alongside risk mitigation, based on explicit ethical and moral values, allows critical evaluation of research programmes which seek to address inequities in society. Funding for formal research assessment structures that bring diverse perspectives together within institutions would facilitate ongoing dialogue with Mäori and local communities and strengthen decision making. The example of the current and future development of waste water-based epidemiology technologies is used to show how a responsible research approach could be applied.
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