British Society for Social Responsibility in Science

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The British Society for Social Responsibility in Science (BSSRS) was a group established in 1969 to stimulate an awareness of the social significance of science. Members were primarily scientists or those active in academic politics.

Among groups that were particularly active in BSSRS were members of

Topics of concern to BSSRS included the following:

  • scientists' individual and collective responsibilities
  • political, social and economic factors affecting science and technology
  • the need to draw the attention of the public to the implications and consequences of scientific development, thereby creating an informed public.

BSSRS's inaugural meeting, sponsored by 64 Fellows, was held at the Royal Society, and attended by more than 300, mostly UK scientists and engineers. Professor Maurice Wilkins was the founding President (1969–91).[1]

BSSRS published a newssheet (1969–72), continued by Science for People, (1972/3), and also had local societies and organized public meetings, as well as publishing longer research monographs. See Burhop (1971); Dickson (1971). See also Hilary Rose and Steven Rose (1976); Pirani (1970); Werskey (1971); Fuller (ed.) (1971) and Rose (2003).[2]

There is an archive group of BSSRS collecting materials, with a website BSSRS (archive)


  1. ^ New Scientist 9 August 1975, pp 329
  2. ^ Hilary Rose, Ideology of/in the natural sciences 1980 ISBN 978-0816190027 pp xxviii