Wednesday, February 11

Response to Research Ethics Chapter

I found the Research Ethics reading to very interesting. Being a business student, I found particular interest in the discussion of the big business in research ethics. In this section of the chapter, Webster discusses how biotechnology companies have attracted financial investment from private sector companies that have attracted many of the stock markets throughout the world. This brings up a ethical dilemma for the scientists involved in these companies as well as the executives that run the companies.

On page 211 of the Research ethics chapter, Webster discusses how their is a close relationship between the culture of research and the culture of money within these organizations. This raises the ethical dilemma of when announcements about scientific research and findings are made public and released to money markets. One serious dilemma here is are the executives in the biotechnology companies pushing their scientists to make big breakthroughs with their technology in order for the companies stock to increase? Also, are these companies giving bonuses and other financial incentives for their scientists to make these breakthroughs? This brings up the other dilemma of 'are these significant breakthroughs researched properly and truly accurate'?

Personally, I feel that their is a major conflict of interest present in these biotechnology companies. The financial gains that are associated with these companies based on breakthroughs made by scientists are significant. Since they are private sector companies, it is more difficult it is difficult to regulate the announcements of major breakthroughs in their research, so I feel that it is a very difficult issue to deal with. If these scientists do act unethically and give false information of their research, their could be very significant financial implications for the company, as well as the pure unethical nature of proclaiming a breakthrough in a certain science that could ultimately change peoples lives.

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