SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

Science and Democracy

Professor Andy Stirling appeared on Radio 4’s Moral Maze on Wednesday 9 March to debate whether science is morally neutral.

He argued that values, morals and politics are relevant to science and therefore need to be taken account of because science can be used both positively and negatively and is therefore not neutral. 

Voicing that science is undeniably steered by powerful social and political forces, he called for openness and democracy in science and the funding of scientific research.

These arguments are elaborated upon in SPRU’s research strategy on transforming innovation.

Listen to his ideas (17 mins in) on the BBC Radio 4 programme: Is Science Morally Neutral?

Following the programme, Prof Stirling has published his concerns of an anti-democratic bias in UK discussions of science and technology in an article on The Guardian Political Science blog: Science and democracy: a peculiarly British disease? (14 March).