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Plus Ethics or the non-negotiable of ethics in R&D

The interest in ethics, in other words, critical reflection on how to differentiate what is right from what is wrong, what is proper from what is improper, or what is fair from what is unfair, just to mention a few of its main objects, has accompanied humanity throughout its historical development. This has contributed to define what traditionally has been called ethos or, in a similar sense, the way of understanding life in society, the behaviour of the people who make it up or the laws that govern us (or, at least, should govern us).

Its importance has been of such magnitude that today nobody doubts that any human project must not only be evaluated in terms of innovation, effectiveness or efficiency, but also by its consequences and the impact it could have on our lives. The terrible mistakes of the past made international organisations, including the European Commission, become aware of the fact that ethical reflection is an element that is not negotiable and must be an integral part of scientific and technological research, which is now even more complex and problematic.

In this context, Plus Ethics’ mission is to offer ethical and legal designs applied to the development of R&D projects, validating their adjustment to the main international and national legal frameworks, as well as guaranteeing the observance of fundamental ethical principles of scientific research in all possible fields. From research with humans or vulnerable groups to the challenges associated with privacy and data protection, through dual uses or misuses of results, algorithmic ethics or artificial intelligence, among many others, all of them constitute the broad catalogue of challenges in current research at the highest level. In short, it is a matter of offering ethical models for the real world.