A. V. Hill...on moral issues in science
Is there really then any special ethical dilemma which we scientific men, as distinct from other people, have to meet? I think not, unless it be to convince ourselves humbly that we are just like others in having moral issues to face. It is true that integrity of thought is the absolute condition of our work, and that judgements of value must never be allowed to deflect our judgements of fact. But in this we are not unique. It is true that scietific research has opened up the possibility of unprecedented good, or unlimited harm, for mankind. But the use that is made of it depends in the end on the moral judgements of the whole community of men. It is totally impossible now to reverse the process of discovery. It will certainly go on. To help to guide its use aright is not a scientific dilemma, but the honourable and compelling duty of a good citizen.
- Presidential Address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1952