The Roberts Lecture 2013 – Baroness Onora O’Neill on “Why Science needs Ethics: why science cannot and should not aspire to be value free”

In the 10th Anniversary Year of the Science Council Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve gave the lecture on the topic of “Why Science needs Ethics: why science cannot and should not aspire to be value free” on Tuesday 8th October. The lecture explored how decisions are made in science and what influences them, an important issue for all scientists and science users, and an especially relevant question for the professional practice of science.

Baroness O’Neill is a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords; member of the Sub-Committee on Lords’ Conduct and a former member of the Select Committee on Science and Technology Sub-Committee 2. She is the current chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. She was elected President of the British Academy in 2005; and in 2007 was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of her outstanding contribution to philosophy and her analyses of ethical issues in science.

Baroness O’Neill, Emeritus Honorary Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, has written extensively on political philosophy and ethics, international justice, bioethics and the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Her books include Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics (2002) and Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics (2007). In 2002, she gave a series of lectures on A Question of Trust as part of the BBC Reith Lectures. She has been a member of and chaired the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and the Human Genetics Advisory Commission, was the President of the Aristotelian Society, and a member of the Animal Procedures (Scientific) Committee.


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After the lecture, we also grabbed a few short interviews with Baroness O’Neill and some of the attendees:


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Full Disclosure: We received a small fee for recording this. We’re sharing it with our audience because we genuinely think it was really interesting!

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