Front Page Titles (by Subject) Values in Research - Literature of Liberty, April/June 1978, vol. 1, No. 2
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Values in Research - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, April/June 1978, vol. 1, No. 2 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Values in Research
“Moral Autonomy and the Rationality of Science.” Philosophy of Science 44 (1977): 513–541.
Should ethical judgments play a central role in rational scientific behavior or merely a nonessential role? Ought the scientist qua scientist make ethical value judgments or ought he remain “morally autonomous?” That is, ought he remain wertfrei, accepting or rejecting theories only with a rational eye to attaining the goals of science? It is argued that in their decisions to accept theories, scientists ought to take account of the ethical consequences of acceptance as well as the consequences in attaining “purely scientific” or “epistemic” objectives.
We begin with the assumption that scientific research is publicly subsidized because of its value in advancing understanding and in promoting social utility. Accepting these as the objectives of science, what are the implications for what constitutes scientific rationality?
First, consider the issue of rationality in accepting or rejecting theories and research topics. Here, the “standard view” errs when it claims that such decisions should be made solely on epistemic grounds; that is, science should be morally autonomous.
The decision-theory view of rationality in science, however, advocates deciding among theories on the probability and value of possible outcomes. On this basis, we may defend the “weak value thesis”: that in accepting theories, scientists in fact make value judgments since they must evaluate the strength of the evidence.
If the weak value thesis is true, what goals should we take into account in deciding to accept theories? Here we can advance to a “strong value thesis.” Not only should we follow the standard view that epistemic goals should be heeded, but we should also consider the practical and moral consequences of accepting theories. This is so because policymakers, in contrast to scientists, need more information. Policymakers stand to suffer greater costs in erroneously accepting a theory. This view may increase scientists' responsibilities, for example, by requiring that they do environmental or political impact studies in connection with their research.
The entire discussion rests on the assumption that both the goals of science and the amount of information provided by scientists are made in a nonmarket setting. This creates the absence of market signals which could clarify how much information is needed about research.