What constitutional protection for freedom of scientific research?

Journal of Medical Ethics 33 (6):342-344 (2007)

Is freedom of research protected at the constitutional level? No obvious answer can be given to this question, as European and Northern American constitutional systems are not unequivocal and the topic has not been discussed deeply enough.Looking at the constitutions of some European and Northern American countries, it is possible to immediately note that there are essentially two ways to deal with freedom of scientific research. On the one hand, in Canada and in the US, constitutions have no specific provisions to protect freedom of scientific research, with the result that such freedom ends up having to be protected as a specific aspect of the wider freedom of thought and expression . On the other hand, other countries’ constitutional systems, mainly European ones, expressly recognise freedom of research and teaching arts and science. For instance, article 5 of the German Constitution states that “Art and science, research and teaching are free”, article 33 of the Italian Constitution1i establishes that “The arts and sciences as well as their teaching are free” and article 59 of the Slovenian Constitution states that “Freedom of scientific research and artistic endeavor shall be guaranteed”.Within this second group, some constitutions limit their protection to the provision of freedom of scientific research, whereas other fundamental laws engage governments in promoting and supporting it. For example, the Italian Constitution, which states that “The Republic promotes cultural development and scientific and technical research” , the Spanish Constitution, according to which “public authorities shall promote science and scientific and technical research for the benefit of general interest” and, also, the Greek Constitution, whose article 16 establishes that art, science, research and their teaching are free, and their promotion is mandatory for the State.2 It …
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/jme.2007.020594
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 48,926
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Problems with Forbidding Science.Gary E. Marchant & Lynda L. Pope - 2009 - Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (3):375-394.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
35 ( #268,329 of 2,310,204 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #264,424 of 2,310,204 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature