Title: The Technolife project: an experimental approach to new ethical frameworks for emerging science and technology
Authors: Kjetil Rommetveit; Kristrun Gunnarsdóttir; Kim Sune Jepsen; Thora Margareta Bertilsson; Fanny Verrax; Roger Strand
Addresses: Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen, Allegt. 34, 5020 Bergen, Norway ' CESAGen – Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA14YD, UK ' Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, Bld. 16, DK-1014 Copenhagen K, Denmark ' Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, Bld. 16, DK-1014 Copenhagen K, Denmark ' REEDS Centre, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Bâtiment Aile Sud, Bergerie Nationale, Parc du Château, 78120 Rambouillet, France ' Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen, Allegt. 34, 5020 Bergen, Norway
Abstract: Science and technology evolve fast both as a result of their internal dynamics and the increased emphasis on research and innovation in the so-called knowledge economy. Due attention to ethical issues and aspects of emerging science and technology is called for. This paper presents the development of an experimental methodology for empirical and participatory ethics of science and technology designed to detect, understand and mediate public concerns. The experimental approach of Technolife seeks for points of mediation by which varied public concerns can become embedded institutionally and secure sets of legitimate procedures. It is an open (experimental) question if the wide variety of technologies now in sway can be handled within a uniform ethical framework or if such ethical frameworks also need to evolve more sensitised to diverse technological challenges. Thus, our methodological approach is experimental in yet a further manner in that we seek to mediate between lay ethics, whether actually existent or else merely potential, and the discourse of professional ethicists, recognising the fragmented character of both layers. The methodology forms a central part of the European Union FP7-supported, ongoing (2010) project Technolife, which gives social and sociotechnical imaginaries a key role in the ethical framework.
Keywords: communities; ethical aspects; legal aspects; socio-economic aspects; ELSA; ethics; science and technology studies; STS; emerging technologies; ethical frameworks; experimental methods; governance; imaginaries; public concerns; knowledge economy.
International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2013 Vol.16 No.1/2, pp.23 - 45
Published online: 30 Jun 2014 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article