Ethics on the laboratory floor

Explorations for a methodology

1 – 2 June 2010

University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands

Confirmed participants

Rosalyn Berne (University of Virginia, USA)

Rosalyn Berne’s research focuses on the ethical, cultural and societal implications of the emergence and convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive sciences. She is particularly interested in the role and function of moral imagination, mythology and religious belief in conceptualizations pertaining to ethics in technological development. These she has discussed and explored in her publications:

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Berne, Rosalyn (2006), Nanotalk: conversations with scientists and engineers about ethics, meaning and belief in the development of nanotechnology, Lawrence Erlbaum

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Berne Rosalyn (2008), Science fiction, nano-ethics and the moral imagination, Springer

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Berne, Rosalyn (2007), Nanoethics: an essay on ethics and technology ‘in the making’, Nanoethics 1:1, pp. 21-30

Alfred Nordmann (University of Darmstadt, Germany)

Alfred Nordmann is professor of philosophy and history of science. Next to his historical interests in the negotiation of contested fields in scientific knowledge, he has been studying philosophical dimensions of nanoscience and converging technologies. With David Baird he initiated the first NSF-sponsored research team on this subject. In particular he has been working on future orientations relating to technological innovations. Nordmann’s focus is on the development of a comprehensive philosophy of technoscience that reflects recent changes in the culture of science and the changing relationship of science, technology, nature and society.

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Nordmann, Alfred (2008). No future for nanotechnology? Historical development vs global expansion, Philosophy and medicine, 101:24, pp. 43-66

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Nordmann, Alfred (2007). In and then: a critique of speculative nanoethics, Nanoethics 1:1, pp.31-46

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Nordmann, Alfred (2007) Knots and strands: An argument for productive disillusionment, Journal of medicine and philosophy, 32:3, pp. 217-236

Armin Grunwald (University of Karlsruhe, Germany)

Armin Grunwald is professor of philosophy of technology and ethics of technology and developed an ethical version of technology assessment called ‘rational technology assessment’. This type of TA is attuned to the specificities of concrete technologies and to the characteristics of the context in which they are researched and developed, but it also offers normative guidance. The normative guidance is based on the norms that are inherent in existing social practices.

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Grunwald, Armin (2008) Ethik und Politikberatung: philosophische Perspectiven, Suhrkamp

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Grunwald, Armin (2008), Auf dem Weg im eine nanotechnische Zukunft: Philosophisch-ethische Frage, Adler

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Grunwald, Armin (2007). Converging technologies: visions, increased contingencies of the condition humana and search for orientation, Futures, the journal of forecasting and planning, 39:4, pp. 380-392

Ulrike Felt (University of Vienna, Austria)

Ulrike Felt’s research interest is in public engagement with technoscience, knowledge politics and changing cultures of knowledge production and how this gets translated into institutional policy. Besides these more theoretical topics, she also experimented with different methodologies for enhancing deliberation and reflection with a special focus on bottom-up initiatives.

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Felt, Ulrike, Maximilian Fochler, Anina Muller, Michael Strassnig (2009), Unruly ethics: on the difficulties of a bottom-up approach to ethics in the field of genomics, Public understanding of science: an international journal of research in the public dimensions of science and technology, 18:3, pp.354-371

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Felt, Ulrike, and Maximilian Fochler (2008). The bottom-up meanings of public participation in science and technology, science and public policy, 35:7, pp. 489-500

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Felt, Ulrike, Maximilian Fochler, Astrid Mager, Peter Winkler (2008). Visions and versions of governing biomedicine: narratives on power structures, decision-making and public participation in the field of biomedical technology, Social Studies of Science, 38:2, pp. 233-258

Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent (Université Paris X, France)

Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent is professor of History and Philosophy of Science and chair of the department of Philosophy at the Université Paris X. The main domains of her research activities are history and philosophy of chemistry; science and the public (in historical perspective). More recently she has devoted her research to ethical and societal issues raised by science and technology. She is a member of the Ethics Committee of the CNRS, member of the French academy of technologies. She has recently coordinated the project ‘Biotechnologies et nanotechnologies: enjeux éthiques et philosophiques’.

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Bensaude-Vincent, Bernadette (2008), Chemistry: the impure science, Imperial College

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Bensaude-Vincent, Bernadette and William Newman (2007), The artificial and the natural: an evolving polarity, The MIT Press, Cambridge MA

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Bensaude-Vincent, Bernadette (2009), Historical perspective of science and its ‘others’, 100:2, pp. 359-368

Arie Rip (University of Twente, the Netherlands)

Arie Rip works on the topic of the governance of science and technology dynamics and he is one of the founders of the methodology for Constructive Technology Assessment. Currently, Rip is director of the TA department of the Dutch R&D consortium Nanoned (2005-2010). His possible contribution to the aim of this workshop is two-fold: he has experience with the structuring and the set-up of scenario-workshops and practices of embedded ethics, and he has been involved in them.

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Boer, Duncan den, Arie Rip and Sylvia Speller (2009). Scripting possible futures of nanotechnology: a methodology that enhances reflexivity, Technology in Society, 31:3, pp. 295-304

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Rip, Arie (2009), Technology as prospective ontology, Synthese, 168:3, pp. 405-422

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Rip, Arie (2006). Folk theories of nanotechnologists, Science as culture, 15:4, pp. 349-366