Ageism in science: fair-play between generations

Sci Eng Ethics. 2003 Oct;9(4):445-51. doi: 10.1007/s11948-003-0043-8.


This paper discusses the role of age in scientific practice from an ethical perspective. In social perception, people tend to categorise others rather automatically along three major dimensions: race, sex, and age. Much empirical and theoretical attention has been devoted to the study of racism and sexism, but comparatively little research in the social and behavioural sciences has been directed at understanding what some refer to as the third '-ism': ageism. For a serious understanding of the implications of ageism in science, it is necessary to discuss, first, the conflicting relationships between classical and modern concepts of time and calendar age, and thereafter the concept of ageism.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Intergenerational Relations*
  • Netherlands
  • Prejudice*
  • Science / ethics*
  • Stereotyping