When Excellence and Ethics Meet
What does it mean to carry out “good work”? What strategies allow people to maintain moral and ethical standards at a time when market forces have unprecedented power and work life is being radically altered by technological innovation? These questions lie at the heart of this eagerly awaited new book. Focusing on genetics and journalism-two fields that generate and manipulate information and thus affect our lives in myriad ways-the authors show how in their quest to build meaningful careers successful professionals exhibit “humane creativity,” high-level performance coupled with social responsibility. Over the last five years the authors have interviewed over 100 people in each field who are engaged in cutting-edge work, probing their goals and visions, their obstacles and fears, and how they pass on their most cherished practices and values. They found sharp contrasts between the two fields. Until now, geneticists’ values have not been seriously challenged by the demands of their work world, while journalists are deeply disillusioned by the conflict between commerce and ethics. The dilemmas these professionals face and the strategies they choose in their search for a moral compass offer valuable guidance on how all persons can transform their professions and their lives. Enlivened with stories of real people facing hard decisions, Good Work offers powerful insight into one of the most important issues of our time and, indeed, into the future course of science, technology, and communication.