Cover: A New Ethical Principle for Analysts Who Use Models

A New Ethical Principle for Analysts Who Use Models

Published in: Proceedings of 2021 Winter Simulation Conference (2021). doi: 10.1109/WSC52266.2021.9715331

Posted on Mar 3, 2023

by Paul K. Davis

This paper reviews some existing ethical principles applying to modelers and analysts. It then proposes a new principle motivated by modern advances that allow modeling and analysis to confront uncertainty — even deep uncertainty — and to do so effectively. Given these advances and the high stakes that are often involved, analysts have an obligation to convey more information than has been expected in the past — information to help decision makers choose strategies that will hedge as well as feasible against uncertainties. Using dilemmas familiar to analysts, including some that draw on topical events, the paper then discusses challenges involved in following the principle and suggest tactics that can help in doing so.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.