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I think those decisions should (and I think do) lie with the people who fund the research, not the individual scientist.
It is nearly always possible for a Science worker to withhold from his bosses / funders anything he (or she, of course) may think is not morally right. I believe that a number of Scientists in Nazi Germany did just that in order to delay the German progress with the A bomb.
It is not always the invention or discovery which can be the cause of problems, but the way in which it is applied.(...)Unless it is patently obvious that an invention or discovery can only be applied to evil purpose, it is the responsibility of the scientist/inventor to research, find answers, discover & invent. Where such is applied in a perverted manner, it is the applier who must be held responsible.
Who can we blame for nuclear weapons? Oppenheimer? Rutherford? Thompson? Dalton? Could we even blame Democritus?Could we even blame biological weapons on Pasteur or Fleming?
What is "evil" exactly? I would say it changes with your environment, upbringing, and moment in history. Should each individual scientist decide what is evil?
I believe that a number of Scientists in Nazi Germany did just that in order to delay the German progress with the A bomb.
"For evil to succeed, it is only necessary that good men do nothing"Someone famous said that but I can't remember who it was.
Quite so; to carry further from my post, could you blame air pollution on Franklin, Faraday or Volta, or perhaps you should blame Benz, Daimler or Henry Ford? Or perhaps the Wright brothers or Whittle?