The HBP Ethics and Society Subproject explores the Project's social, ethical and philosophical implications. It promotes engagement with decision-makers and the general public, fosters responsible research and innovation by raising social and ethical awareness among project participants, and ensures that the Project complies with relevant legal and ethical norms.

Research and technology development in the HBP has numerous social, ethical and philosophical implications, many of which are long-term. The Project has an interest in recognising concerns early and in addressing them in an open and transparent manner. In particular, early engagement can provide scientists with opportunities to gauge public reaction to their work, and to hone their research objectives and processes in the light of these reactions.

SP12 draws on the methods developed during empirical investigations of emerging technologies in genomics, neuroscience, synthetic biology, nanotechnology and information and communication technologies as well as on the biomedical tradition of engaging with ethical issues through the application of formal principles—now usually implemented through ethical review processes.


What People are Saying

  • Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. This is our opportunity.

    Prof. Karlheinz Meier, University of Heidelberg,
    Co-leader of the Neuromorphic Computing Subproject

  • A key goal of the Human Brain Project is to construct realistic simulations of the human brain – this will require molecular and cellular information and from that we will be able to model and understand biological and medical processes. In addition, we will be able to use that information to design and implement new kinds of computers and robotics.

    Prof. Seth Grant, University of Edinburgh,
    Co-leader of the Strategic Mouse Brain data subproject

  • The Human Brain is the most complex system that we know of. We would like to develop some kind of ‘google' brain where we can zoom in and out, see it from different perspectives and understand how brain structure and function is related. The ultimate aim of the Human Brain Project is to understand the human brain. This is only possible when we understand the structural organization of the human brain.

    Prof. Katrin Amunts, Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine,
    Forschungszentrum Jülich

  • The Human Brain Project will become a major driver of ICT in Europe.

    Prof. Thomas Lippert, Institute for Advanced Simulation, Jülich Supercomputing Centre,
    leader of the High Peformance Computing subproject