Video Interview: Introducing Academic Visitor Dr María de Jesús Medina Arellano

An interview with academic visitor Dr María de Jesús Medina Arellano, Professor and Researcher at the Institute of Legal Research at the National Autonomous University (UNAM), on her research focusing on the ethics and regulation of biotechnologies in developing countries, such as stem cell science, human genome editing and reproductive technologies.

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3 Responses to Video Interview: Introducing Academic Visitor Dr María de Jesús Medina Arellano

  • Paul D. Van Pelt says:

    Nice presentation by la Professora. With science and technology making bold strides forward, ethics and morality are pertinent concerns. From what I have seen, heard and read I believe this is clear enough. It is also clear that researchers and others are pretty intent upon doing everything they can to further those bold strides, as effectively as possible. I have questioned some of that exuberance here before, and may do so again. This goes back to a claim made years ago, when I was still in the public work place. It was in connection with other issues, but change remains at the bottom of the remark. The speaker said we can’t legislate morality and was quite right. Those other issues are ongoing. Some more conservative thinkers question science. The fundamental question is should science do the research and advocate change because achievement has made things possible? Full speed ahead …or, should there be ethical and moral considerations, moderating achievement? I think Arrellano’s concerns go to this. If ethics and morality have little influence in the laboratory, why should they have influence anywhere else?

  • Ian says:

    Paul deliberately raises shades of the tablets of Moses.
    Considering: Any moral/ethical framework/set of precepts which appears most suitable to any particular worldview and as the most suitably accurate and acceptable one able to attain concrete form for that worldview at that time (excluding those codes forcibly imposed upon a wider social grouping without any broader agreement). As in a strict framework of rules for any particular pure science, which would be correct for a purist scientist yet could appear inhumane in many of its features to a great many people if applied more widely, which could even so lend itself to be used in its most basic general form for the framework of an ethical or even legal code focused only within that limited scientific field.
    When considering that morality and ethics themselves determine frameworks of behaviour, that perspective would make a nonsense of the statement that ethics and morality have little influence in the laboratory. Rather, if ethics is considered as a scaling factor between or within differing modes of behaviour the perceived conceptual base point of what can correctly structure behaviour becomes the point of the debate.
    It has been understood, and written about, that outside any rigid scientific code, frequently the feelings of scientists (and their environment) can affect and direct/drive the way they work. So a strict morality of pure science can become troubled by its own conscience, as does any other ethic/morality when too strictly or rigidly imposed across broader social groupings.
    Perhaps the statement today is more about a perceived importance of not allowing a direct affect upon scientific thought/or process, with the more indirect ethical/moral affects being seen as problems to be solved within any scientific endeavour allowing a searching… for a more broadly socially acceptable answer/response for the objective of the endeavour. If considered too much or too early within and during any scientific endeavour the question ‘Where and how does any found truth fit into an existing political world?’ in many circumstances can destroy many scientific projects.

  • Paul D. VanPelt says:

    Sorry. My knowledge of Moses’ tablets is nil. Just as knowledge of the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the Kitabi’can and Kitaibi’acdas. Spellings of the latter two are questionable because they are English derivatives from Persian. Which does not equal, necessarily, other middle eastern languages or dialects. Which my tablet does not speak. I do agree in principle with what Ian says. I need not explain. People reading here, for the most part, do not need a linguistic roadmap. Thanks,Ian.

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