Published January 22, 2023 | Version v1
Presentation Open

Research Integrity and the Frankenstein Challenge to Open Science

  • 1. Good Clinical Practice Alliance - Europe (GCPA) & Strategic Initiative for Developing Capacity in Ethical Review (SIDCER)


This presentation belongs to the session that arises out of discussions in the past years’ ICG Ethics Sessions. The session theme and context results from a small bi-monthly discussion group – the ‘BGI Dialogues on Science, Philosophy, and Society’ – that met over the past months to prepare this session. Focusing on the recent advances and challenges to CRISPR genome technology with its promises as well as its challenges and potential threats, this panel of international experts that spans scientific disciplines invites a wider dialogue on the role of science in medicine, education, and society at large: Can we trust science to address our health concerns? our food and environmental issues? our economic challenges? even perhaps our political challenges? And does trusting science also mean trusting the products of science? trusting the methodologies? trusting the scientists themselves? On what basis do we, or should we, trust genomic editing technologies? Do we have reliable alternatives to turn to when we doubt science? when science appears to act in its own interest or a thwarted interest? when the common good of humanity appears threatened by the interests, methods, and/or products of science?

Ethics session objectives
1..   Why do we trust science?

2.   What do we expect science to contribute to health?

3.   What are the pathways to Open Science in today’s society?

4.   How should we talk about science and listen to society, considering different and constituencies and cultures?

5.   What is the gray zone, of unknown and known unknowns, between ethics and genetic technologies and how to clear it up? 

6.   What can we learn from the past: how to better collaborate between science and ethics in the future? 

7.   How can we support integrity in the sciences of genetic engineering?

8.   Does it make sense to separately explore the science of the Non-Living Matter, Life-Sciences and Human & Socio-Economic Sciences, instead developing a unified approach?

9.   How can we accumulate knowledge across these three scientific domains so as to gather confidence to improve our heuristic thinking capacity?

10.  How can science help build trust in an era of „alternative facts“? Can there be a sober and humble biotechnology, under conditions of commercialism and politicization?

11. How can we strengthen trust in science?

12. What do YOU suggest?

C.   Ethics section outcomes
1.  We would like to experience an honest discussion, in the sincere spirit of engaged science, dedicated to health and reason.

2.  We regard a friendly academic debate among serious scientists as valuable and an end in itself.

3.  We expect insights into the integrity, connectivity, curiosity, freedom and generosity that makes sciences creative and unpredictable.

4.  What can we seriously expect as scientists from a technology such as CRISPR that transcends projections of social and emotional issues?

5.  The human side of „Frankenstein“, as a mirror to society, reminds us of the balance between hope and hubris and inspires us to connect our perspectives, towards a unified picture of knowledge. 

The presentation was developed as part of the Francis' appointment as the EOSC Future / RDA Ambassador for Ethics & Law. It is supported by work from the work being developed by the International Science Council’s CODATA International Data Policy Committee (IDPC). Francis’ EOSC Future / RDA Ambassador for Ethics & Law and the EOSC-Future projects are co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon Programme call INFRAEOSC-03-2020 - Project ID 101017536. The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is funded by Horizon Europe as well as by other funding organisations (see here). Francis is grateful for the support provided ISC CODATA, EOSC-Future, and the RDA communities, structures, and secretariats.


Research Integrity and the Frankstein Challenge to Open Science FP Crawley ICG-17 Chengdu China 22-10-29,1.0.pdf

Additional details


EOSC Future – EOSC Future 101017536
European Commission