Ethics & Society
Research performed in the Human Brain Project will have an impact on both science and society. The project has committed to Responsible Research and Innovation (also known as RRI), a wide umbrella term connecting different aspects of the relationship between research and innovation and society.
We enabled responsibility within the HBP by providing the governance structures that were needed. We also conducted social, ethical and reflective research on everything from good RRI practice, data governance, dual use, public engagement, diversity to neuroethics and philosophy. These activities were spread across the Project.
Responsible Research & Innovation in the HBP
We promoted RRI practices within the project, and helped shape the direction of its research in ethically sound ways that continue to serve the public interest.
Through our social and philosophical research, public engagement and ethics support, we have worked for a broad and comprehensive approach to RRI, ethics and societal impacts of brain research in the HBP since 2013. In the final phase of the Project, our work focused on finding ways to design and embed responsible research practices into EBRAINS, the international research infrastructure that the HBP will leave as its legacy.
Our research and other activities were intended to increase understanding and implementation of RRI, and to promote the development of RRI capacities within the HBP and EBRAINS, and to further collaboration with other big brain projects in addressing ethical and societal issues, as well as increasing engagement and uptake of societal input for the development of EBRAINS.
We joined forces with external stakeholders, citizens, and other international brain initiatives to:
- Explore and develop recommendations and strategies for managing short-term and long-term ethical issues raised by brain research (for example human rights, data protection, ethics standards, misuse/dual use, and good clinical practice, including considering diversity dimensions in research).
- Develop policies, procedures and training modules for the EBRAINS research infrastructure to ensure it can operate in a legal and morally acceptable way, committed to principles of fairness and equal opportunities.
- Coordinate and manage ethical issues raised by HBP research, monitor and lead work on diversity aspects in both areas, namely the HBP community and HBP research, and communicate and disseminate our insights and achievements.
Responsibility by Design
We worked to ensure that the Human Brain Project developed responsibly and in accordance with ethical and legal regulations and principles, including human rights, data protection, ethics standards, and good clinical practice by undertaking research and developing advice.
We monitored political, security, intelligence, and military uses/misuses of scientific and technological findings, and responded to current ethical and societal concerns raised from the Human Brain Project.
Anyone can request to address ethical, regulatory and social issues raised by HBP research.Register an Ethical Concern
Social, ethical, reflective
Tackling ethical, social, legal, & philosophical issues that are raised by brain research.
Ethics & RRI Outputs
Since 2013, we have produced over 100 publications, many reports, three opinions & an RRI Glossary.
A Collection of Publications
We have compiled a list of all articles, books, and reports related to social, ethical and reflective work we have produced since the beginning of the Human Brain Project: October 2013. We hope it might be useful for those interested in how social science, ethics and philosophy can become driving forces in scientific and technological development, and that it will ensure responsible research and innovation in both theory and practice.Download our publications folder
An anthology on Ethics & Society in Brain Research
Attention to ethical and social issues were part of the Human Brain Project’s work from the very beginning in 2013. Accordingly, a group of HBP researchers from the social sciences and the humanities created several structures and mechanisms and used various conceptual and empirical methods to develop activities and to identify, reflect upon, and manage the ethical and social issues raised by brain research, its outputs, and applications.
With this collection of essays, we aim to present our work in an accessible format, with the ambition of sharing the research and its outputs with diverse stakeholder communities, including policymakers, civil society -and interest organisations, research, and expert communities outside our peer communities. The collection includes short essays by our HBP colleagues who describe and reflect on their work at different stages of our developmental history. In the process, they offer key findings, reflection points, and lessons learned.Download the anthology
Ogoh George, Simisola Akintoye, Damian Eke, Michele Farisco, Josepine Fernow, Karin Grasenick, Manuel Guerrero, Achim Rosemann, Arleen Salles, Inga UlnicaneJournal of Responsible Technology 2023-08-12
Grasenick, Karin, Romero, Pilar F., & Salles, Arleen.Zenodo 2023-03-21
Inga Ulnicane, Tara Mahfoud, Arleen SallesJournal of Responsible Innovation 2022-07-18
Michele Farisco, Kathinka Evers, Arleen SallesNeuroethics, Vol. 15, No. 1 2022-02-03
Bernd Carsten Stahl, Simisola Akintoye, Lise Bitsch, Berit Bringedal, Damian Eke, Michele Farisco, Karin Grasenick, Manuel Guerrero, William Knight, Tonii Leach, Sven Nyholm, George Ogoh, Achim Rosemann, Arleen Salles, Julia Trattnig, Inga UlnicaneJournal of Responsible Innovation 2021-08-25