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Here is AAAS' Survey title page (Questions and Doug's answers appear after title page.):

The World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific

Knowledge and Technology


The American Association

for the Advancement of Science

At the 1999 World Conference on Science, convened in Budapest by UNESCO and the International Council for Science (ICSU), attendees adopted a "Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge" and a "Science Agenda-Framework for Action." They also urged UNESCO and ICSU to "identify and implement follow-up action" supporting their conclusion that:

"All scientists should commit themselves to high ethical standards, and a code of ethics — based on relevant norms enshrined in international human rights instruments — should be established for scientific professions." [Doug's bold and italics.]

As follow up to the conference, we are surveying scientists to determine the key ethical issues that they are likely to encounter as the world enters the 21st Century. Your responses to this survey will help COMEST and AAAS develop programs and activities that address these issues. Thank you for your help.

Survey results will be reported later this year on Science's Next Wave web site.

Reader, as we did in our March, 1999 QQA we again ask,

AAAS' Questions & Doug's Answers

There are four questions, we show them in bold red. Doug's bold green answers immediately follow each question.

1. Briefly describe the ethical issues you believe your discipline faces because of emerging areas of research or technology.

Understanding what we mean when we use a word like 'ethics.' I.e., is 'ethics' rational? Can we use scientific reasoning to decide what is ethical? Is ethics objective? Or is ethics more subjective? If ethics is objective, what methods does one use to assess absoluteness of an ethical principle? Can any principle be absolute, or do all principles evolve? Do ethics evolve?

Perhaps more important: Does one ethics fit all practitioners in all cultures and all disciplines? Who decides? Does one member or one committee have an ethical right to impose their ethical principles on all or many others?

Does one ethics fit all, or do we need ethical diversity? Is a cry for ethical principles a cry for monolithic control?

2. What advances in communication and information technologies do you believe will pose the greatest ethical challenges for scientists, engineers and society at large?

Quantum communications will guarantee ethical conflicts because it is zero latency. E.g., Chinese scientists (whose ethics are certainly and appropriately different from Americans') and American scientists will share experimental data instantly. This rapidity of, say for example real time experimentation, will often break any agreed ethical standards. Why? Outcomes will happen which cannot be ethically prevented. (They already do.)

Was it ethical for a Chinese to steal US gov't military secrets? Chinese say, "Yes!" USA says, "No!" Who decides? Should Wen Ho Lee spend 9 months in a US jail without a decree just because US hegemonists want him to? Clearly, we now see ethics as local, cultural. A good word to describe 'ethics' is 'incommensurability.'

3. If ethics were to be taught as part of the formal curriculum in your discipline, which issues would it be essential to cover?

That no single ethical system fits all cultures. To impose a single system is pure totalitarian hegemony. It goes wholly against ethical diversity. Any attempt to impose a single ethical system is just a political ploy to gain another type of societal control. It will not work.

4. In your opinion, what specific actions could be taken to improve the ethics education and training of scientists and engineers?

Teach a simple ethical concept. Ethics is evolution. Ethics are local. That which is locally ethical — is a next outcome which is locally 'better.'

Betterness is a quantum nonlocal concept; therefore, nonlocal outcomes will not find global ethical agreement among all cultures (quantumly we see both ethical incommensurability and ethical contrafactual definiteness).

A good example here is to consider what Alpha Centaurians and Betelgeusians would think about UK's Molly.

We like an ethical policy which states simply: "Cooperate, and defend." By that we mean that all local cultures should cooperate among themselves when possible, and they should defend themselves when necessary.

Doug Renselle
In Quantonics
Suite 18, #368
1950 East Greyhound Pass
Carmel, INdiana 46033

To take this survey yourself go to AAAS' Nextwave site.

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To contact Quantonics write to or call:

Doug Renselle
Quantonics, Inc.
1950 East Greyhound Pass, Suite 18, #368
Carmel, INdiana 46033-7730

©Quantonics, Inc., 2000-2009 — Rev. 8May2008  PDR — Created 20Sep2000  PDR
(9Sep2002 rev - Repair typos.)
(24May2004 rev - Replace missing question mark.)
(9Jan2007 rev - Adjust colors.)
(8May2008 rev - Repair intra text address.)