The Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota aims: "to advance and disseminate knowledge concerning ethical issues in health care and the life sciences." The Center organizes and sponsors various research projects ranging from a Genetics and Identity project to an African Genealogy and Genetics project. The excellent website is divided into sections on: the Center's Research; Education (giving details of the University of Minnesota's many graduate programmes in bioethics); details of the many Publications of Center and Faculty staff; and a Resource Center containing bibliographies and details of how to access the University's materials on bioethics. Also contains news features and recently published articles of interest to those working in the field of bioethics. This high quality resource is an extremely useful conduit of information for those working at an advanced level in the field of bioethics.
The Consortium Ethics Program (CEP) is a biomedical ethics program based at the University of Pittsburgh. Organizing the University's graduate programmes in bioethics, the Center also publishes a quarterly online newsletter, Community Ethics. Recently published issues of Community Ethics have included articles on: Death and Dying; and Adolescence, Medicine, Ethics, and the Law. The full-text of Consortium is accessible free-of-charge via the site. The simply designed and regularly maintained website also provides access to a useful gateway of other online resources on biomedical ethics. All information is freely available and in English.
The European Association for the Study of Science and Technology, founded in 1981, is a pan-European learned society (with some members elsewhere) covering the field of Science and Technology Studies. This site includes a full-text online archive of the Association's quarterly journal, EASST Review, dating back to 1994; an open-access email directory of present and former members; information on joining the society, and a small, unannotated collection of links to STS-related sites. The site suffers from some odd web design in places and often appears to be out of date: it is stated to be maintained regularly but infrequently, "on or about the 15th of March, June, September and December", to coincide with the publication of the journal.
This website, authored by a freelance enthusiast, concerns the life and work of the nuclear scientist, biophyscist and 'scientist of conscience', Leo Szilard (1898-1964). Amongst the items included are various biographical articles, secondary articles about his work, the most recent being by Valentine Telegedi and William Lanouette, and assorted pieces regarding the atom bomb and Szilard's opposition to its use. These include a copy of the petition he sent to President Truman in 1945. In addition, the site contains an audio version and transcipt of the speech Szilard gave at Harvard in 1961, called 'Are We on the Road to War?', which lead to the foundation of the Council for a Livable World. There are also links to other relevant sites. The presentation is a little busy but functional enough, although it has not been updated recently.
'Linus Pauling: A Centenary Exhibit' is an online exhibition hosted by the Special Collections and University Archives of the Oregon State University Libraries. It honours the life and work of Linus Pauling, the only individual winner of two Nobel Prizes. The material, which has been developed from the on-site exhibition at the University in 2001, is drawn from the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers and various photographic collections. A detailed biography of Pauling is included, which traces the many areas of his interest from molecular research to his resistance to war, including details of his colleagues, different stages of his work and the suspicions aroused against him by his commitment to peace. This exhibit is well presented, with many images of primary source material and a very detailed picture of the way in which his life and work interacted. Unfortunately, it cannot be searched or accessed via a specific page except through a series of very small thumbnail icons at the top of the title page. These are only likely to be useful once the user is already familiar with the content. Alternatively, the exhibition can be viewed by starting at the beginning and working through a page at a time, although it is possible to go back one page at any time. Each page is divided into several columns, which are then viewed in detail by zooming in, when a link to the next column becomes available. This makes viewing a slow process, but it is comprehensive in terms of the material included and the extent of detail, which should make it a useful resource at all levels of research.
This is the website for Mersenne, an informal email discussion group for the history, philosophy and sociology of science, technology and medicine. The site is the responsibility of JISCmail, the provider of electronic discussion lists to the UK higher education community. Apart from information about how to join or leave the list, the site contains archives of previous submissions which may be browsed by author, date or thread, or searched by keyword. The volume of postings is low: most messages consist of job advertisements, calls for papers, and announcements of meetings, new websites or seminar series. All postings are archived at the JISCmail site, and it is thus possible to keep up to date without subscribing to the list by regularly checking this address. The archive contains all messages posted since September 1998, a significant proportion having been imported from the mailbase facility which formerly handled UK academic discussion lists. The site's presentation is simple but eminently clear.
The 'Parnassus Scientiarum', named after a lost work by Descartes, is the online catalogue of the Waller Collection of History of Science and Medicine. Collected by the Swedish surgeon, Erik Waller, the collection includes letters, manuscripts, printed texts and artefacts. The size of the collection is a feature of its value, as its acquisition immediately doubled the number of volumes in the catalogue of the Uppsala University Library, where it is housed. As an example of a private library, it is considered to be unique, containing around 110,000 items. The database may be searched by object type (eg. book; engraving; photograph), or thematic group (eg. Danish Collection; Bibliography on the Waller Collection; Baglivi's Correspondence), as well as by details including shelfmark, person or date. A search may also be made by a guided access feature through samples from the catalogue, some of which include digital texts. This is an ambitious and ongoing project, laid out for easy use of a complex collection and should be of use to researchers at all levels.
Remembering Nagasaki is part of the Exploratorium's online exhibition Memory, and presents online the photographs taken by the Japanese army photographer Yosuke Yamahata in Nagasaki after the atomic bomb 'Fat Man' had been dropped on the city on 9 August 1945. Some of the images featured in the exhibition are upsetting, as they show the effect of the bombing on the city and its inhabitants. It is a shame that there is no commentary accompanying the photographs to place them in a greater context. In addition to the Yamahata collection, the site also features: resources and links sections (under 'Commemorations') that list related films, books, articles and websites; and some public forums from 1995 discussing the decision to use atomic weapons, people's memories of hearing about the bombings, and nuclear weapons in general.
The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), founded in 1975, is an international learned society covering broadly the subject area usually identified as Science and Technology Studies (STS), incorporating the social and cultural study of science, technology and medicine. Its associated website provides conference news, information on joining the Society, a list of names and contact addresses for members of the governing council, and details of prizes awarded by the Society. Brief details are given of the Society's journal, Science, Technology and Human Values; 4S also maintains a thrice-yearly newsletter, Technoscience, of which most copies since 1995 are archived at this site. Also included (on the links page) are the subscription details for the STS graduate student discussion group, STSGRAD-L.
The Society, Religion and Technology Project is a unit within the Church of Scotland which aims to promote analysis of the relationship between science, technology, religion and ethics, to encourage discussion between professionals in the various fields involved and the general public, and to disseminate its own views on the subject. This site contains the texts of many of the Project’s reports and press releases on such matters of public concern as genetic modification, nuclear energy, cloning and stem-cell research, and information relating to the Project’s 1999 publication "Engineering Genesis", produced in consultation with a group of social scientists, geneticists and ethicists. Also provided are links to other sites concerning the relationship of Christianity with both science and the environment.
'Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology' is an electronic journal published by the Digital Library and Archives (DLA) of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). The journal was first published in 1995 and recent articles have dealt with issues like cognitive science; engineering; nanotechnology; the internet; email communication; technological theories; and technological dependency. The site has a very simple, basic design. Articles are available in both HTML and PDF versions. However, all PDF articles are only accessible to the Virginia Tech community. Also available on the site are guidelines for authors and a search engine.
This web page contains the text of a polemical guest editorial written for the journal 'Philosophy of Science' in 1992, by its former editor-in-chief, C. West Churchman. Churchman was one of the pioneers of the philosophy of management science, and this essay applies some of his ideas concerning management ethics to the physical sciences. Considering the development of the atomic bomb, he starts by asking whether "human beings should study physical nature, whether it is dangerous or ethical to do so". The essay then broadens to consider the nature of the management decisions that scientists (and others) are required to make, but frequently deny responsibility for, before turning to address the perceived ethical failings of the modern world, especially concerning child abuse. Although this essay skips between subjects rather rapidly, and is decidedly polemical in tone, it does raise questions about the ethics of science and technology, and demonstrates that the philosophy of the social sciences is not easily separable from that of the physical sciences.