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Ethical Advisor

CTIT likes to introduce Dr. David Douglas. Since January 2015, he is advising CTIT researchers on ethical aspects of research. This topic is becoming increasingly important within ICT research.

Research and development is about making decisions: what problems to address, what potential solutions to explore, and so on. Many of these decisions involve values: the things we consider important to ourselves and to others. Sometimes what we value in computer and information technology can be easily quantified, such as efficiency and production costs. Some of our values are not easily measurable, such as privacy and well-being. Often we must choose between different values, and the decision we make will depend on the situation and what we aim to achieve. Understanding why we make a particular choice between competing values is often as important as the decision itself.

The role of the ethics advisor is to help researchers within CTIT in making decisions about values that go beyond their technical expertise. It involves supporting researchers in thinking about the moral and social values reflected in their work and how to best decide between competing values. The advisor's role is not to decide arbitrarily what should and should not be done or to passively accept the researcher's decisions. The advisor instead works alongside researchers to help them identify and describe the values promoted in their work, and to ensure that the outcome of their research accurately reflects the values of the researchers themselves and of their sponsors.

Ethical Advisor CTIT

Dr. David Douglas

d.m.douglas@utwente.nl