ETHICAL SOFTWARE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, SCIENCE &TECHNOLOGY: A
is discipline dealing with what is good & what is bad,& also with moral
duty &obligation. And science as we understand is the pursuit of an insight
into the working of nature through reason, observation& experience. Software's Play an increasingly important role in the language of communications through
the machine and then with the user in a totally unique manner. More importantly
they made our lives easier in order that they straighten up the nature of day
today problems in a simple and user friendly way.
is thus forced to question, the area of convergence between these seemingly
disparate disciplines. Ethics impinges on every human activity while science is
undeniably human. software's on the other hand forms a part of scientific
in its practice & application demands adherence to ethical principles,
which are cross culturally valid secular values of integrity, equity&
distributive justice, among others. Thus we must first consider the kinds of
ethical violations & the reasons thereof in the various aspects of
scientific research.Subsequently we should also consider what can be done to
mitigate,reduce & eliminate them.Scientific research in any discipline has
the following aspects –choice of the area of research ,funding of research
,research methodology& distribution of the products of research. Software's also serve an important role in day today life of human beings ranging from
simple calculations to resolving complex numerical computations.
is extremely unfortunate that more funds in most of the countries are being
spent on weapons research than on funding solutions to basic human problems.
Although the associated
science has some positive spin offs, such research has emerged as a tool of
domination whether it is atomic, space, biological& chemical sciences or
we can take the case of drug research.One finds that drug companies spend
billions of dollars on developing drugs such as Viagra & Prozac which cater
to miniscule in the rich countries while ignoring diseases like drug resistant
TB & Malaria which affect the multitudes in the third world.
consider the frontier area of research in cloning.No doubt, there are some
positive applications such as renewed hope for childless couples &
development of a ready source of replaceable organs.But on the downside we find
the risk of domination by biologically & intellectually superior elite starting
us in face.
the funding of research ,one finds that in recent times there has been a change
in the pattern of funding,which has affected value orientation of research
itself. Earlier ,the primary source of funding in most countries was the state
,with a clear commitment to the welfare of the people.In recent times this has
given way to an increasing linkage between
the research institutions /universities & corporate on the one hand &
the research undertaken by the corporates. In a market driven by global economy
corporates are essentially concerned with maximizing shareholders wealth
ignoring the general public good. This aspect has also influenced the choice of
the area of research, as only the more lucrative fields are sought to be
research in areas which might hurt the entrenched monopolies is not encouraged.
The most outstanding example, in this regard, is the slow pace of development
of alternatives to fossil fuels.There is no doubt that were it not for the
clout of the big oil companies research on renewable energy resources the world
have progressed much faster. Another trend that has emerged in recent times is
resorting to professional ‘lobbiers’ for funds especially in the United States.This
does not augur well both for the purpose &conduct of research & the use
of its products .
is in the distribution & use of the products of research that one finds the
greatest violation of ethical norms.There are today the haves & the
have-nots not only in terms of physical assets but also in access & use of technology.
This has been sought to be institutionalized by resorting to clever trade agreements like the TRIPS, which seek to create & retain monopolies for the
developers of technologies. Whether it be the issue of terminator seeds,
transgenic crops, genetically modified food , multi drug therapy for AIDS or the
possibility of use of private information by employers or insurance companies
,one finds the likelihood of subversion of the ethical norms related to
there exists a widely accepted research methodology, one often comes across
of violation of related ethical norms. These infractions are of two kinds.
Firstly they could be inadvertent & secondly, they could imply deliberate fraud.
The first arises because of incorrect application of scientific method both in
terms of the procedures involved in research & the presentation of its
results. Deliberate fraud includes plagiarization of ideas, culling &
trimming of data.
analysis of the reasons for scientific misconduct reveals that the scientists
like other human beings have been unable to rise above the desire for fame
& money or have given in to pressures of political ideologies & now
increasingly those of corporates. The
discussion can be summed up in the following ways:
is a double –edged sword. This is best exemplified by the constructive &
destructive development & use of atomic energy.
scientists themselves are motivated by monetary incentives than any real
pursuit of knowledge or contribution to the society.
A programmer, computer user,
developer, coder, or coder could be a one who writes pc package.
The term computer user will sit down with a specialist in one space of creating by mental acts or to a student WHO writes code for several varieties of package.
One WHO practices or professes a proper approach to
programming may additionally be called a computer user analyst. A
programmer's primary machine language (Assembly, COBOL, C,
C++, C#, Java, Lisp, Python, etc.) is usually prefixed to those titles, and people WHO add an internet surroundings usually prefix their titles
term computer user are often wont to sit down with a package developer, internet developer, mobile
applications developer, embedded computer code developer, coder, man of science,
or Software Product Development analyst. However, members of those professions possess alternative package engineering
skills, on the far side programming; for this
reason, the term computer user,
or code monkey, is typically thought of Associate in nursing insulting or disparaging oversimplification of those alternative professions.
one doubts that science & technology represent possibly the only means of
achieving all round growth & development. Yet, never before have had
scientific developments attracted so much controversy. There is an urgent need
to restore ethics in science.Here we should recall the norms suggested by RK Menon,
which must be exemplified & incorporated by scientists. These norms are:
1. Universal ism requires that science be
independent of race, colour or creed & that it be international.
2. Communal-ism requires that scientific
Knowledge be in public knowledge &that there should be freedom of exchange.
Disinterestedness requires that results of
scientific research should not be used for personal profit, or political
Organised skepticism requires that the
acceptance of validity of any statement be contingent upon comparison with
observed facts & should be open to question.
a market driven globalized world there is an urgent need for efficient
regulation. The state may withdraw from funding research activities, but it
must regulate the activities of the privately funded research institutions
through innovative programmers. Developing countries should get together &
work cohesively to force the developed countries to transfer technology on
misconduct needs to be checked through efficacious peer review & not rigid
state control. There is a need to incorporate within the science curricula, an
exposure to humanities so that even scientists can appreciate the links between
technological development & social change. It is certain that the
suggestions above might not fully address the issues related to ethics , Software
Product Development & science .But there is a need to move ahead. To move
from reason, Observation & Experience as the Holy Trinity of science to
reason, Observation, Experience & ethics as the holy pyramid of science
,with Ethics at the Apex.