Ethics Awareness in the Human Brain Project
Members of SP12 and SP10 at a meeting to discuss ethics and neurorobotics
The Researcher Awareness Task
The main aim of the Researcher Awareness Task is to enhance capacity for ethical and social reflection and corresponding action among researchers at all levels within each Subproject of the Human Brain Project. This work is a core aspect of Responsible Research and Innovation in action, providing anticipatory and reflective dimensions for considering the ethical implications of research, direct engagement with a range of internal stakeholders, and a way of receiving and incorporating feedback into practice. The Researcher Awareness Programme covers a wide range of relevant ethics topics including dual use, compliance, data governance, and the ethics of Artificial Intelligence. This Task is carried out jointly by the Foresight Lab at King’s College London and Ethics Support team at De Montfort University.
The Researcher Awareness Task aims to ensure that research insights are translated into researcher capacities that reach beyond disciplinary and regulatory frameworks, and in doing so, embed reflection within research, strengthen researcher responsibility, and maintain and build upon the existing intra-HBP networks, such as Ethics Rapporteur network, thus making for a well-integrated research environment overall. The Researcher Awareness Task implements capacity-enhancing exercises through workshops and other activities designed to facilitate reflection beyond the minimum requirements of legal and ethical compliance.
- Develops strategic links among HBP researchers and structures and with other bodies relevant to raising awareness of ethics and societal issues in HBP research;
- Explores the normative horizon in HBP research, drawing upon ethics issues, researcher and public perceptions, and broad socio-political contexts of research;
- Institutes and publicises an internal series of actions designed to target specific issues, research tasks, or areas of interest and responsively supply useful, succinct and reliable material is supplied to researchers that augments their native research field skills (e.g. Ethics Rapporteurs and Compliance Management activities); and
- Ensures continuous development of Researcher Awareness aims through workshop programmes and other actions as a way to implement ‘ongoing reflection’ and enhancing capacity with respect to matters of ethics and society.
Examples of Researcher Awareness work include:
- Contributions to responsible dual use activities including “Dual Use and Neuromorphic Computing” at the Universities of Heidelberg and Manchester
- Workshops to facilitate social and ethical reflection such as “Ethics and Neurorobotics”
- Experiments with science fiction such as Strange Brains, Alien Minds
- Activities at the HBP Summit and other major events
- Contributions to HBP Education workshops and events for researchers
- Reflection on lessons learned and contribution to social science and humanities discussions
- Contributions to the Ethics Dialogues blog
Manuel Guerrero, Uppsala University
This page was last modified on 29/01/2019.
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