Counting the numbers: what is a fair gender-balance in science projects?

Karin Grasenick Do we care? There is rarely a person met stating “I don’t care about equal opportunities and fairness. And I do not think this has any relevance for science or scientific outcomes.” When talking to scientists most of them will emphasise their commitment to ensure equal opportunities in science regardless of gender. They…

Beyond box-ticking: towards ethics dialogues

‘Beyond Research Ethics: Dialogues in Neuro-ICT Research’ is the title of a recent article (Stahl et al 2019) published by the members of Ethics Support team of the Human Brain Project (HBP). This article outlines a dialogical approach that the Ethics Support team applies in its work in the HBP. This approach offers an alternative…

Explainability and Counterfactuals: Algorithmic Decisions and the Individual

Tonii Leach How do AI algorithms make decisions? Why might we need to understand this, and to what extent do we need to understand this? How can we conceptualise ‘explainable’ AI? And when we ask for an explanation, what is it that we really want to know? On the 27th of February Dr Brent Mittelstadt…

The Human Brain Project’s Ethics Advisory Board: Q&A with Shamim Patel

How and why the highly regarded HBP’s Ethics Advisory Board (EAB) was established? What its main achievement are? And what the future holds for the EAB? Our Question and Answer series with Ethics Support task leaders continues with Shamim Patel, task leader for the Ethics Advisory Board and Other Ethics Services. What is the Ethics Advisory Board…

Responsible Dual Use in Neuroscience and Neurotechnology

Neurotechnology as many other powerful technologies can potentially be ‘dual use’ technology, namely it can be used for beneficial as well as harmful purposes. How can we ensure that neuroscience and technology developed for civilian applications is not misused towards malicious ends? What can researchers, engineers, policy-makers and other stakeholders do to safeguard responsible use…

Data Protection Officer in the Human Brain Project: Q&A with Kevin McGillivray

Why does the Human Brain Project (HBP) need a Data Protection Officer and what are the main challenges for this role? Our Questions and Answers series with Ethics Support task leaders continues with Data Protection Officer Kevin McGillivray. Q1: What are the aims of Data Protection Officer (DPO)? A DPO is a professional in the…

Ethics Rapporteur Programme: Q&A with Manuel Guerrero

How does the Ethics Rapporteur Programme in the Human Brain Project (HBP) work? What are its main achievements and future challenges? Our Question and Answer series with Ethics Support task leaders continues with Dr. Manuel Guerrero, task leader for the Ethics Rapporteur Programme. Q1: What are the aims of the Ethics Rapporteur Programme? The Ethics…

Engaging with emerging technologies: representation, responsibility, and reflexivity

How do we make scientists and engineers aware of societal and ethical issues? And how do we engage diverse publics with the latest developments in future and emerging technologies? What challenges do we face and what can we learn from such engagements? These were guiding questions for the panel ‘Engaging with emerging technologies: representation, responsibility…

Dual Use and Responsible Research: Learning about Ethical Challenges Ahead

Winter-Gladys Wanjiku and Inga Ulnicane The 2nd Human Brain Project (HBP) Curriculum Workshop ‘Research, ethics & societal impact. Dual use and responsible research: ethical challenges’ took place at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm from the 14th to the 17th of November 2018. This workshop showcased the interdisciplinary nature of not only the HBP itself, but…

Beyond Human Rights: Ethics in the age of AI and Posthumanism

Tonii Leach As the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) develops at an exponential rate, and technology becomes ever more integrated into our lives, it is imperative that the ethics of the convergence of these subjects is considered. Whilst the possibility of the development of a general superintelligence seems remote, consideration of the ethical implications of…