The Ethics of Computer Simulations in the Natural Sciences
Computer Ethics Institute, May 7, 1992
W. Robert Collins , Department of Computer Science, College of William & Mary Keith W. Miller , Department of Computer Science, College of William & Mary
"Procedural modeling and its computer implementation, simulation, have become the basis for a new mode of scientific experimentation. Yet little has been done to assure that computer simulation adheres to the traditional principles of publicity and reproducibility that underpin the empirical method. Like all software, computer simulations are subject to errors at all levels: in specification, design, coding, and use. These errors are not necessarily appreciated or understood by the scientific community employing computer simulation. Nor is the impact of these errors on the scientific method necessarily understood by the computer science community which creates and executes the simulations. We analyze the responsibilities of the parties involved in the use of computer simulation in scientific experiments, according to principles of fairness ultimately derived from Rawlsian theories of justice."
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