Film by TIMES Researcher Ioanna Semendeferi Considers the Importance of Ethics in Science

What is the importance of a scientist’s moral and ethical judgment? This is the question posed and answered by Dr. Ioanna Semendeferi’s debut film, “Dear Scientists…”


Through a combination of allegorical performance art and references to past ethical missteps in research, the film takes a look at the core of each scientist’s moral duty: to consider the integrity of both the subjects they are studying and the data produced. Written, directed, and produced by Dr. Semendeferi, the film is  supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) EESE grant, ‘Experiencing Ethics,’ where Dr. Semendeferi serves as co-Principle Investigator.

“‘DEAR SCIENTISTS …’ is a film about the seriousness of science ethics and a creative method to impart its message. With an artistic touch, it connects past with present emphasizing the role of feelings in moral judgment.”


Of the film, Dr. Semendeferi states, “‘DEAR SCIENTISTS …’ is a documentary and academic/educational film that draws attention to the seriousness of science ethics and its global implications. With an artistic touch, the film connects past with present, stirring emotions. Building a better future requires historical wisdom and humanistic feelings. Science is beautiful – only if it has a soul.

Images dominate our memories. Feelings shape our thinking. Music brings us balance. Keeping these in mind, I created the film’s allegoric scenes aiming to leave an indelible impression of the scientists’ ethical and social responsibility.”

The film is an official selection of several prestigious film festivals and academic conferences, including the 2014 Ethnografilm Festival in Paris, the 68th University Film and Video Conference in Montana, and the 2014 Social Studies of Science Conference in Buenos Aires. More information about the film and how to obtain a copy can be found at

More information about the Science Ethics project at the University of Houston can be found at:

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