In this paper I present my reflections on the ethics of science as described by Merton and as actually practiced by scientists and technologists. This ethics was the subject of Kuipers’ paper “‘Default norms’ in Research Ethics” (Kuipers 2001). There is an implicit assumption in this ethics, notably in Merton’s norm of communism, that knowledge is always, or unconditionally good, and hence that scientific research, and the dissemination of its results, is unconditionally good. I will give here reasons why scientists are not permitted to proceed, as they actually do, on the basis of this assumption. There is no factual or other binding justification for this assumption, and the activities it gives rise to frequently conflict with the broadly accepted ethical principle of restricted liberty. A recent discussion on the risks and hazards of science and on the issue of relinquishment is presented. What is shown in this paper is that the scientists and technologists participating in this discussion frequently violate core values of science relating to logical and empirical scrutiny and systematic criticism, as mentioned in Merton’s norms of universalism, organized skepticism, and disinterestedness. It is concluded that, in order to live up to these values and in order to operate in agreement with broader ethical principles, science should stimulate open and critical discussion on the hazards and negative effects of science and technology, and on the present failure on the part of law and politics to control those hazards and negative effects. Science should also take the possibility of relinquishing certain themes of research seriously as long as such flaws in the systems of law and political decision-making persist.