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ethical

Abortion pill access, and Europe’s ethical AI

If the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the 1973 legal decision that enshrined abortion as a constitutional right, parts of the country will be ready to plunge into a reproductive-rights dark age in which doctors are forbidden from providing any abortions, in some states even in cases of rape, incest, or a fetus with genetic abnormalities.But there’s still one huge loophole: most of these pending state laws exempt the person seeking the abortion from any penalties. The likely result is an increase in the number of…

Targeted wastewater surveillance has a history of social and ethical concerns

Testing wastewater for the presence of diseases has grown in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Credit: Shutterstock Wastewater surveillance involves testing sewage to obtain data about a population's health. While the technique is decades old, it has gained recent international prominence for its ability to predict pandemic surges, detect new SARS-CoV-2 variants and provide useful data when traditional testing methods…

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‘Every day was an ethical quandary’: telling the difficult story of XXXTentacion | Documentary films

In one of many chilling scenes in the XXXTentacion documentary Look at Me, the young musical artist whose real name was Jahseh Onfrey leaves a Florida jail and Googles himself. It’s March 2017. At the top of the search results is Onfrey’s bio, accompanied with a mugshot from his 2016 arrest for brutally imprisoning and assaulting Geneva Ayala – his girlfriend at the time. The detailed bio, evidence that he made it, has him squealing.While Onfrey was inside for nearly six months without a data plan, a 2015 song he uploaded…

Is it still ethical to collect butterflies for science?

Part of the May 2022 issue of The Highlight, our home for ambitious stories that explain our world. The butterfly’s wings are splayed at an unnatural angle, orange-and-black markings visible to full effect. A metal pin skewers it to the wall. Through thick display glass, I read the tiny, hand-drawn label affixed to the pin’s base. This monarch, I learn, was collected from Michoud, Louisiana, in 1938. Specimens like this one, housed at the…

How Fairphone is building an ethical phone for our immoral world

Most phone companies release several models throughout the year to give users more choice — and sell loads more devices than if they just offered a single one. Fairphone, a company with a core mission to make sustainable devices, is trying to chart a different path than most phone makers by breaking that cycle. It’s not a household name when it comes to buying phones. But at its core, the company wants your phone to last longer, and design it in a way that you…