Ethics in science?
Ethics in science?

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Ethics in science?


Hopefully you now have a taste for how complex the moral and ethical issues surrounding scientific experimentation can be.

The ethics of what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’ science are challenging to consider and are never simple to disentangle. They are also highly contextualised by the society of the time ­– there are things which are viewed as unacceptable now either because of changing societal views or because, with the benefit of hindsight, we have a clearer understanding of their future impact.

The key concepts and principles you have studied in this part are:

  • how clinical trials are used today in medicine
    • Clinical trials use a control group and a treatment group.
  • the importance of acting ethically in scientific research
    • The UK Research and Integrity Office advises on good practice on scientific research.
  • why it is important to continue to ask moral questions about scientific research.
Described image
This course is part of a suite of introductory science courses on OpenLearn.

The content of these courses comes from the Open University course S111 Questions in science [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Take a look at the other OpenLearn courses that are part of this set here.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371