Science in Society Archive

The Independent Science Panel (ISP) is a panel of scientists from many disciplines, committed to the Promotion of Science for the Public Good

Statement of the Independent Science Panel

Launched 10 May 2003, London

The Independent Science Panel (ISP) is a panel of scientists from many disciplines, committed to the following

  1. Promoting science for the public good, independent of commercial and other special interests, or of government control

We firmly believe that science should be accountable to civil society; that it should be accessible to all, regardless of gender, age, race, religion or caste; and that all sectors of civil society should participate in making decisions on all issues related to science, from scientific research to policies regarding science and technologies.

We believe that accurate scientific information should be promptly accessible to the public in unbiased and uncensored forms.

  1. Maintaining the highest standards of integrity and impartiality in science

e subscribe to the principles of honesty, openness and pluralism in the practice of science. There should be open peer-review for published work, and respect and protection for those whose research challenges the conventional paradigm or majority opinion. Scientific disagreements must be openly and democratically debated.

We are committed to upholding the highest standards of scientific research, and to ensuring that research funding is not skewed or distorted by commercial or political imperatives.

  1. Developing sciences that can help make the world sustainable, equitable, peaceful and life-enhancing for all its inhabitants

We respect the sanctity of human life, seek to minimise harm to any living creature,
and protect the environment. We hold that science should contribute to the physical, social and spiritual well-being of all in all societies.

We are committed to an ecological perspective that takes proper account of the complexity, diversity and interdependence of all nature.

We subscribe to the precautionary principle: when there is reasonable suspicion of serious or irreversible damage, lack of scientific consensus must not be used to postpone preventative action.

We reject scientific endeavours that serve aggressive military ends, promote commercial imperialism or damage social justice.

The Genetic Modification Group of the ISP

see the GM group page for more details

The Genetic Modification (GM) Group of the ISP consists of scientists working in genetics, biosciences, toxicology and medicine, and other representatives of civil society who are concerned about the harmful consequences of genetic modifications of plants and animals and related technologies and their rapid commercialisation in agriculture and medicine without due process of proper scientific assessment and of public consultation and consent.

We find the following aspects especially regrettable and unacceptable:

Article first published 2003

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