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Ethics training requirements for engineers and scientists. The case of Inra and Cirad, two applied research institutions

Jolivet E., Raoult-Wack Anne-Lucie, Vermersch Dominique. 2001. Ethics training requirements for engineers and scientists. The case of Inra and Cirad, two applied research institutions. In : EurSafe 2001 "Food safety, food quality and food ethics", The third congress of the European society for agricultural and food ethics, Florence, Italy, 3-5 October 2001. EurSAfe ; ed. by Matias Pasquali. Milan : AetQ, pp. 255-258. Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics. 3, Florence, Italie, 3 October 2001/5 October 2001.

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Abstract : INRA and CIRAD are two French applied - research public organisations. Both specialise in the fields of agriculture and food processing, but CIRAD is more specifically oriented towards international scientific co-operation with the tropical and subtropical countries. The scientists of these organisations carry out their research work and expertise assignments with a public service aim and in partnership with economic players (private firms and producer or processor groups), and institutional players (the European Union, local authorities, research or development organisations, etc) in France and abroad. The current context is marked by a very brief interval between the advance of knowledge and its at times somewhat ambivalent technical application; an interval that is aft the shorter because of the increasing globalisation of economic exchanges. In this situation, public research is confronted by both a crisis of consumer confidence (food safety and quality, etc.) and by the increasing difficulty of identifying what is in the public interest and of contributing to it. It is at this level that imprecisely formulated ethical questions are now emerging among the engineers and scientists of these organisations. The nature of the questioning varies: it can, for example, relate to the purpose of the activities (sustainability, equity, etc), to R&D and co-operation procedures (e.g. public/private partnership; difficulties of North-South co-operation in the context of a major imbalance of forces and transculturality), to the exploitation and ownership of the results, or to expertise. Hence the need, felt by both scientists and their institutions, to support this questioning with a basic understanding of the foundations of ethical thinking. What then are the training requirements of scientists and engineers and how can they be met? We shall discuss this question in the light of recent experiences, such as the establishment of a special "ethos" committee and the organisation by INRA of seminars in economic and social ethics for scientists in 1999 and 2000. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Éthique, Formation, Recherche, Agronomie, Biologie, Sciences de la terre, Coopération, Pays en développement, Pays développé

Classification Agris : C10 - Education
A50 - Agricultural research
E14 - Development economics and policies

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Jolivet E., INRA (FRA)
  • Raoult-Wack Anne-Lucie, CIRAD-AMIS-AGROALIMENTAIRE (FRA)
  • Vermersch Dominique, INRA (FRA)

Autres liens de la publication

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (https://agritrop.cirad.fr/486232/)

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