Ethical dilemma: A problem to be solved Vs a science to be studied

HIV/AIDS emerged as a major public health problem to be solved. In a short period of time, the focus shifted to study it as a science. Shortly after that it continued both as a science to be studied and as a problem to be solved. similarly, for many of the problems the balance between a problem to be solved and a science to be studied is unclear.

When there are clear solutions to a problems, the focus should be on solving the problem, not on studying it further. While searching for better solutions, even if some solutions exist, for a problem is always encouraged, this shouldn’t be at the expense of efforts to solve the problem with the existing solutions. This is the ethical dilemma in science and practice.

There are times when researching a problem for long time without giving equivalent attention to finding a solution results in public crisis. The Ebola epidemic in western Africa could be considered a good example for this. This epidemic has managed to “jam” all the modern public health measures despite the presence of being studied since the 1970s.

In conclusion, when researchers study a problem, they need to give equivalent attention to its solutions. Having knowledge about a problem is important but not adequate to solve a problem. That knowledge need to be used to design solutions and it is the application of those solutions that solve the problem.