Unlike the moral rules, the major laws of bioethics anticipate their own senescence because they must confront a permanent change.

Life in the laboratory is what is now referred to as scientific integrity, while the role of the scientist in the world is the ethic of research.

Despite the misdeeds of opacity, total transparency is harmful when people are being judged. Anonymity is also not desirable, one can not denounce without having to answer for its allegations. And confidentiality?

The multiplication of useless solicitations leads to a cognitive saturation which handicaps our capacities of reaction. In our information society, the scarce resource is no longer information as such, but our faculties of concentration and discernment subject to the assault of incessant flows of information. How, then, remain calm and continue to exercise his sagacity on what is happening?

The only antidote to the systematic doubt of the scientist is in fact doubt itself! Even though the sciences arise from a movement of concerned suspicion, trust could not exist without the sciences and the systematic mistrust that powers them.

The issue of the purpose of project funding for research teams needs to be clarified, otherwise all sorts of abuses could occur, for example transforming these teams into service providers or consultancy companies.

In any event, everything possible needs to be done to avoid the disastrous effects of conflicts of interest. Sometimes however, the procedures in place cause more harm than the issue they aim to eradicate.

The authors claim that the program is able to automatically recognise a homosexual from facial features with more than 91% accuracy. This idea originating in physiognomy, pushed to its limit, is the same as saying that the outside takes precedence over the inside, and thus the emptiness of any moral conscience or individual will.

Young radicalised girls are a new thing in the jihadist world. Often model students, from the middle classes and converted, they are overturning the feminist ideals of their elders by adhering to this violently repressive regime. What are their motivations? A combination of more or less ambivalent desires, the common thread of which is the aspiration to become an adult early on, sometimes with a naively romantic vision.

Given some studies and the way artificial intelligence is presented in some of the media, concern about jobs in the future is growing. Wrongly so! Given the current state of the technologies, the robot should be seen as an assistant or a companion, not as a replacement. This requires continually educating the public in this regard, and work on the complementary nature of humans and machines.

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Photo Bernard Martinez

DR. DOMINIQUE LEGLU

Managing Editor

 

La Recherche, founded in 1970, is a major source of science information in France for science-interested citizens, leading universities and research institutions. The site Researchinfrance.com publishes the English version of a series of articles about the most advanced achievements appearing in our printed French version.

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November 11, 2018

November 11, 2018

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