Reflections on the interface of bioethics, public policy and science

Kennedy Inst Ethics J. 1999 Sep;9(3):209-24. doi: 10.1353/ken.1999.0020.


This paper discusses the role of ethical considerations in the formulation of public policies aimed at shaping the scientific agenda. Specifically, new and controversial public policy issues will confront us in the twenty-first century as the result of developments on the frontiers of biomedical science. Some of the anxieties in the ethical arena generated by the rapid pace of these developments are likely to result in efforts to place constraints on the shape of the scientific agenda and the application of new knowledge. Our moral propositions, therefore, will be tested and re-tested in their application to evolving social, cultural, and historical circumstances and the ever-changing technological context.

MeSH terms

  • Bioethical Issues
  • Bioethics*
  • Biomedical Technology*
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Probability
  • Public Policy*
  • Religion
  • Risk
  • Risk Assessment
  • Science*
  • Social Change
  • Uncertainty