Following signing a memorandum of understanding between Vice -Presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran for Science and Technology and NRISP, the Department of Ethics of Science and Technology of NRISP was established with the aim of exploring the ethical aspects involved in the activities of emerging modern scientific and technological activities, awareness of the government, academy and society and providing problem-oriented consultations in the winter of 2013. The Department preliminary three-year vision includes the following three steps:
The first step: capacity building, to reach the frontiers of global knowledge and capacity building of human resources.
The second step: native research, understanding the challenges of the country and conducting problem-oriented research projects.
The third step: popularization and education, public awareness and specialized training.
The audiences of the Department of Ethics of Science and Technology fall into three categories:
The first category: policymakers and politicians who make decisions on science and technology. The missions of Department of Ethics of Science and Technology in relation to this category are: to promote and strengthen the decision-making process through counseling and mechanisms of involving moral factors into the decision making process in the field of science and technology and providing specific solutions for certain key decisions.
The second category: the scientists and experts active in the field of science and technology. The missions of this department in relation to this category are: explaining the ethical aspects of professional activities and create awareness and responsibility among professionals.
The third category: the public (science and technology users). The missions of this department in relation to this category are: expanding public awareness on the ethics of consumption in the era of science and technology and raising awareness about citizen’s rights and the right of seeking responsibility from scientific community and democratic practices of expressing it.
The Department’s organization includes: Head of the Department, Steering Committee and the members of the department. Programs and policies of the Department are proposed and approved in the steering committee by the head of the department and are performed by its faculty members and experts of the group. The Steering Committee of the Department comprises the representatives of Vice -Presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran for Science and Technology, the representatives of NRISP, the Head of the Department and distinguished consultants in the field of ethics of science and technology.
Department of Ethics of Science and Technology is active in an environment where there is no long history about this subject. Ethics of science and technology has been studied and introduced in a limited form and largely with a philosophical approach and relying on concerns, terminology and philosophical mentality. The Department of Ethics of Science and Technology seeks while maintaining and taking advantage of the existing philosophical insight, apply the potential capabilities in the fields of psychology of science, sociology of science and technology and economy of science and technology in order to answer the existing concerns and along with theoretical frameworks develops experimental and field approaches to answer the problems of today’s Iranian society in the field of ethics of science and technology.
In the beginning, the aim of the research projects of the Department of Ethics of Science and Technology was capacity building and critical observation of the world literature. This department is now at its consolidation phase and gradually tends to define and implement problem-oriented and native research projects.
The Department of Ethics of Science and Technology along with its research activities will be involved in educational, promotional and consultation activities in the future and as a think tank tries to represent a national and regional network of ethics of science and technology by international standards.
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