Freedom and responsibility: Academic researchers’ public advocacy - Sciences de la vie - Ethique Access content directly
Reports (Technical Expertise Report) Year : 2023

Freedom and responsibility: Academic researchers’ public advocacy


Academic research staff have long been advocates of various causes in the public arena; researchers taking normative positions regarding various moral, political or social issues is nothing new. Today, however, given the many challenges facing our society, the question of public advocacy by researchers has taken on a new dimension. Many of them get involved to support causes or take a stance on societal issues - the fight against pandemics, environmental degradation, the rise of surveillance technologies, and so on. They do so in a variety of ways, from signing op-eds to contributing to the work of NGOs or think tanks, supporting legal action or writing blog posts. Moreover, the development of traditional and social media has significantly increased the public exposure of committed researchers. At the same time, many in the research community are questioning the modalities of such forms of engagement in the public sphere, its appropriateness and the very idea of it. They wonder whether and how to engage publicly without risking their reputation and the values shared by their research communities, without departing from the neutrality traditionally expected of researchers, and without jeopardising impartiality or credibility. The present opinion has been written with this context in mind. The result of a self-referral within COMETS, it aims to provide researchers with keys to understanding and ethical guidelines concerning public advocacy.


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hal-04364313 , version 1 (08-01-2024)


  • HAL Id : hal-04364313 , version 1


Gilles Adda, Virginie Courtier-Orgogozo, Mathias Girel, Éric Guilyardi, Ruth Horn, et al.. Freedom and responsibility: Academic researchers’ public advocacy: COMETS - OPINION n°2023-44. 2023-44, COMETS. 2023. ⟨hal-04364313⟩


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