I would like to tell you about the moral responsibilities of scientists. And at the beginning of my report, I’ll tell you about what the moral responsibility is. According to the dictionary the moral responsibility means the obligation to be responsible for action or conduct which is insufficient for the norms of moral behavior. Of course, there are some general norms which everybody tries to do but each of us has nis own norms. And that’s why there are different opinions about the moral responsibilities of the scientists.
To start with, I’ll tell you about two points of view. The first point is that a scientist should suppress those scientific discoveries which might be misused and which ordinary people don’t know about. There are some reasons for this. The first reason is that scientists are in a position to know what has been discovered in their field. The second reason is that scientists are also in a position to fight for the suppression of potentially harmful discoveries. Knowing more than ordinary people, scientists should be the first people to expose the misuse of scientific discoveries endangering the lives and surrounding of their fellow- citizens.
But there is another opinion about the moral responsibility of the scientists. Scientists shouldn’t suppress their discoveries and should discover as much as they can. There are also some reasons that support this opinion. First of all society’s fear of scientists is irrational, because society is conservative and backward –looking. On the contrary scientists are radical, forward-looking, and by his or her discoveries are likely to change the material environment of the society. Secondly, it’s futile to ask a scientist to conceal his or her discoveries, because they are not his or her alone. And if it isn’t made by one person, it will be made by another person.
Well, now I’d like to give you some example of scientific morality. Academician Legasov, well known in...