One of the important changes that has occurred in the structure and practice of science in the last five decades or so has been the emergence of a plethora of ethical issues that relate to administration, practice, dissemination and use of science.

This has been largely due to a dramatic increase in the pace of scientific progress during the above period when compared to the preceding era. During the earlier period the rate of progress of science was slow enough for it to be assimilated by the society. If any ethical issue arose, the concerned sector of the society had time and ability to analyse, understand and resolve it so that it really became a matter of public concern and debate. This unfortunately is not so today with the consequence that a whole plethora of increasingly complicated ethical issues have kept cropping up, be they in respect of genetic engineering, law of the ocean, remote sensing, medical practice or assisted reproductive technologies.

The increasing pressure on scientists and increasing value laid by all sectors of society on science - in fact, increasing dependence of our very existence on science - has put pressures on scientists that they are often unable to handle within a framework of accepted and reasonable norms of behaviour. This has led to unethical practices such as plagiarism and the like.

While no part of the world has been totally free of ethical issues in science in the last several decades, India has been one of the worst affected in this respect on account of a host of India-specific reasons. For example, while India is one of the poorest countries of the world with perhaps, the largest number of illiterates and highest social disparities, it is amongst the most scientifically and technologically developed countries.

Keeping all this in mind a group of the country's distinguished scientists with high international and national credentials, led by Prof. Avtar Paintal, FRS, set up the Society for Scientific Values in 1986.

The society has obviously no legal or administrative powers, but it enjoys high moral credibility. It has taken up cases from time to time, where values intrinsic to science, which we term collectively as "scientific ethics" has been compromised.

The Society for Scientific (SSV) has also from time to time, organised meetings with a specific purpose, for e.g. a meeting organised by it in April 2000 on Ethics in Administration of Science, had a significant impact on a wide spectrum of people.

The objective of this website is to acquaint all those concerned directly or indirectly with sciences around the world, with the activities of the Society. It will post on the site the cases where it has come to a specific conclusion.


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