I think this is a hugely important topic. I just recently read (well, listened to--audiobook) Sam Harris's The Moral Landscape, which asserts that science can (and should) be the basis for morality or ethics. Harris bases his claim on the idea that there is such a thing as human well-being, and that it can be produced or destroyed through various ways of living. His definition of well-being is basically a state of emotional, mental and physical health. Because "health" can mean different things to different people, he describe morality as a landscape with multiple peaks and valleys, the peaks being different means to the same goal of well-being, the valleys being really bad states (poverty, disease, repression, abuse, fear, malnutrition, etc.)
If we can agree that well-being is possible in humans, then, Harris asserts, we should also be able to agree that certain practices can either increase well-being or decrease it, and that that can be quantified, measured. He uses the extreme example of the enforcement of the burqa in certain Moslem communities, positing that locking women in a sack is a practice that potentially decreases well-being, particularly as the rationale for doing so lies in certain deprecatory beliefs about females in general. If well-being is a fundamental human goal (and he puts a lot of emphasis on mental well-being or, I should say, positive states of consciousness) and the well-being of conscious creatures is the ultimate aim in everything we do (and he's not totally homocentric in this), then science SHOULD be very concerned with explicating those conditions and practices which enhance well-being, and equally strident in opposing those practices which lead to "valleys."