1Research Ethics Expertise

1.1. Introduction

Research ethics can cover very different types of problems: researchers conduct in their work, publication of their results, precautions to take against those involved in experiments, right up to results, reflected by the invention of new processes or technologies that may fundamentally alter societies or environments in which they will be transformed into innovations. Different ethical concepts shall therefore be applied according to the research activity considered, sections which are ever more complex and collective. We shall, for example, talk about integrity in research if we consider the individual conduct of researchers in their investigations and the publication of their results. We shall apply other conceptions, from bioethics with its lists of principles, to appraising a collective project in biomedical research in order to protect people and sick or healthy patients who are vulnerable or not. We may further expand the scope if we focus on good ethical practices relating to the use of nanotechnology.

If the emerging responsible research and innovation (RRI) conception is close to research ethics by the opening of scientific practice to stakeholders and anticipation on the use of research results, not just considered in the light of their commercial expectations, it should however not overshadow what already exists in ethics as expectations with regard to research practices. Indeed, to our knowledge, works on RRI are developed ...

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