There should be limits to everything, but i believe the point of this debate is not discussing the mad scientists. Sure there were people like Dr. Mengele and Dr. Frankenstein, but those are exceptions. One could argue that politicians and chiefs of state should not receive carte blanche under no circumstances, and yet there are laws in the case of State of Siege and State of War that gives almost unlimited power to the governing power. And that is how people like Hitler and Stalin appear. Same for military leaders, like Genghis Khan and Timur-Lan. The point is that nobody should receive carte blanche with no strings attached.
But there should not be infringements on science from those called "spiritual leaders". There should not be much decision about science coming from people that understand nothing about the research being conducted. And by that I mean politicians, priests, and other such leaders well outside the scientific world. There should be some moral standards restricting the research activity, but as a general guiding line. It is interesting how people are screaming about stem cell research and genetic research, but no one says anything about the way countless animals are slaughtered each year for the sake of science.I have a problem with this style of haveing two standards, one for those things that we care about and one about those that we do not. That is applying a non-scientific, emotional approach to science. And it is not working, as it should not work in justice, or even in the military. Cry for your enemy and you will hesitate when the confrontation moment comes.
There should be restrictions on what activities are called science. What Dr. Mengele was doing was not science at any point. It was a crime against humanity, it was a general extermination process put in place by people having nothing in common with science. What the Japanese are doing with the wales is not science as they pretend, it is hunting endangered species with the endorsement of their government. So we should pay attention to the final purpose of that research. Is it a pathological desire to hurt, is it a pure material interest or is it a genuine gain in knowledge and civilization. I was reading a while back that there where some shows in the mid-1800s where dogs got electrocuted to prove that the electric current is dangerous. Is there any science in that? In my opinion no. It is a marketing and psychological stunt in order to scare people away. So let's just take more care what is science and what is not and let the scientists do their jobs. After all there is enough brake on science already because of funding reasons. No concept will get well researched unless some rich people are interested in the subject to get even richer... i guess in the end only the money have carte blanche