My essay Vetenskap på gott och ont, which I announced in a blog post in April this year, is now available in English translation: Science for good and science for bad. From the introduction:
- My aim in this text is to explain and defend my viewpoint concerning the role of science in society and research ethics which permeates the ethical arguments in my recent book Here Be Dragons: Science, Technology and the Future of Humanity (Häggström, 2016). To clarify my view, I will contrast it with two more widespread points of view which I will call the academic-romantic and the economic-vulgar. These will be sketched in Section 2. In Section 3 I explain what is missing in these approaches, namely, the insight that scientific progress may not only make the world better but may also make it worse, whence we need to act with considerably more foresight than is customary today. As a concrete illustration, I will in Section 4 discuss what this might mean for a specific area of research, namely artificial intelligence. In the concluding Section 5 I return to some general considerations about what I think ought to be done.