Brian Rappert

Brian Rappert is a Professor of Science, Technology and Public Affairs in the Department of Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Exeter. His long term interest has been the examination of how choices can and are made about the adoption and regulation of technologies; this particularly in conditions of uncertainty and disagreement.  His books include Controlling the Weapons of War: Politics, Persuasion, and the Prohibition of Inhumanity, Technology & Security (ed), Biotechnology, Security and the Search for Limits; and Education and Ethics in the Life Sciences (ANU Press).  More recently he has been interested in the social, ethical, and epistemological issues associated with researching and writing about secrets, as in his book titled Experimental Secrets

orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6883-531X

On the Dual Uses of Science and Ethics »

Principles, Practices, and Prospects

Claims about the transformations enabled by modern science and medicine have been accompanied by an unsettling question in recent years: might the knowledge being produced undermine – rather than further – human and animal well being? On the Dual Uses of Science and Ethics examines the potential for the skills, know-how, information, and techniques associated with modern biology to serve contrasting ends. In recognition of the moral ambiguity of science and technology, each chapter considers steps that might be undertaken to prevent the deliberate spread of disease. Central to achieving this aim is the consideration of what role ethics might serve. To date, the ethical analysis of the themes of this volume has been limited. This book remedies this situation by bringing together contributors from a broad range of backgrounds to address a highly important ethical issue confronting humanity during the 21st century.

Education and Ethics in the Life Sciences »

Strengthening the Prohibition of Biological Weapons

Edited by: Brian Rappert
At the start of the twenty-first century, warnings have been raised in some quarters about how – by intent or by mishap – advances in biotechnology and related fields could aid the spread of disease. Science academics, medical organisations, governments, security analysts, and others are among those that have sought to raise concern. Education and Ethics in the Life Sciences examines a variety of attempts to bring greater awareness to security concerns associated with the life sciences. It identifies lessons from practical initiatives across a wide range of national contexts as well as more general reflections about education and ethics. The eighteen contributors bring together perspectives from a diverse range of fields – including politics, virology, sociology, ethics, security studies, microbiology, and medicine – as well as their experiences in universities, think tanks and government. In offering their assessment about what must be done and by whom, each chapter addresses a host of challenging practical and conceptual questions. Education and Ethics in the Life Sciences will be of interest to those planning and undertaking training activities in other areas. In asking how education and ethics are being made to matter in an emerging area of social unease, it will also be of interest to those with more general concerns about professional conduct.