Responsibility of Science and Business in our Current Societies

Hosted by Beisheim Stiftung; Reimar Belschner, Oliver Hart, Mei Wang; Moderator: Nadine Kammerlander

Wednesday, 24 August 2022
07:00 - 08:30 hrs CEST


Social responsibility has in recent years been more and more highlighted, both in academia and in business. What is meant by “responsible” behavior, however, is often very unclear and might change over time. In this discussion we want to take a closer look on the proper roles of scientific and business communities in our society, and contrast the different or even conflicting view points from the public. On the one hand, scientists are ideally thought to pursue the ultimate truth in a neutral and unbiased way that requires them to distance themselves from a value judgment, while businesses should focus on efficient wealth creation and use market mechanism to price social goods. On the other hand, the society expects scientists and business persons also play their roles as “responsible” citizens, to behave “ethical” and thus include value judgements into their work. What are potential benefits and caveats when science and business are involved in value and ethical judgment? How should they deal with legitimate but sometimes conflicting goals, e.g., economic efficiency vs. social responsibility, censoring hate speech and fake news vs. promoting freedom of speech? How should academics and business people react to policies that constrain their own freedom of choice? These questions have become highly relevant in our current world and require in-depth thoughts and debate in a free society.

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