• Børsen, Tom (PI (principal investigator))
  • Schummer, Joachim (PI (principal investigator))
  • HYLE: International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry


HYLE: International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry invites papers for a special issue on Ethical Case Studies of Chemistry.
Tom Børsen, Aalborg University, Denmark; boersen@plan.aau.dk
Joachim Schummer, Editor-in-chief of HYLE; editor@hyle.org
Since many years national and international organizations, such as UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), have recommended mandatory courses of ethics for all undergraduate students of science and engineering. While such courses have been established in numerous countries and for various student groups, chemistry is still lagging behind, despite the special importance here. One reason for that is the lack of appropriate course materials. This special issue is meant to fill the gap and to encourage ethics of chemistry courses based on a canonical set of case studies that will be published open access. We particularly welcome case studies that fall in one of the following four groups:
1. Intentional misuse and misconduct, e.g., scientific misconduct in chemistry, chemical weapons research, support of drug abuse.
2. Unforeseen consequences, e.g., industrial pollutants, industrial disasters, adverse side-effects of products.
3. Global and long-term influences and challenges, e.g. chemical prediction of environmental or health problems, geochemical engineering, green chemistry, global human and environmental challenges for chemistry, impact on global economy.
4. Impact on human culture: How do chemical agendas affect cultural values, ethical principles, or religious ideas? Possible cases include patenting DNA, creation of life, human enhancement, and chemical modernism.
All submission must meet special requirements to be suitable as course material. Apart from being accessible to undergraduate students of chemistry and between 7,000 and 9,000 words long, they must include
• an introduction that points out why today’s chemistry students should be familiar with the case and what general lessons are to be learned;
• a historically and chemically informed case description that situates the case in its organizational, institutional, broader societal or/and global context;
• a detailed ethical analysis that links the case to appropriate ethical concepts and principles and highlights, if possible, dilemmas and conflicts of interests rather than clear-cut moral judgments;
• a brief discussion of comparable cases;
• a list of accessible literature for further reading.
Effective start/end date01/01/201601/01/2018


ID: 237751129