The natural pace of development of science and the continuing emergence of new techniques, open up new possibilities for research. Whilst scientific and technological developments provide increasing opportunities for better conditions of life, they can give rise to social problems as well as threaten fundamental freedoms and human rights. In the absence of any control mechanism, some of these experiments (although scientifically interesting in isolation) may have unforeseen multiplier effects which disrupt the existing natural or social systems.
Examples of such experiments (proposed or implemented) are: warming the ionosphere to gain information on how it functions, underground nuclear tests in earthquake areas, creation of free-flowing interoceanic canals, construction of dams across interoceanic straits, melting polar ice-caps, release of artificial substances into the ionosphere and magnetosphere, and alteration of the atmosphere of Venus.
Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. (Martin Luther King, Jr.).
Scientists should not be held responsible for the nature of the systems they study, nor for the nature of the social systems that exploit those studies. In these matters, their responsibility is no greater than that of other citizens.