Increasingly big data & the pressing need for international data governance of neuroscience

Understanding the brain requires great effort and the scale of neuroscience research projects is increasing to scale. This means crossing borders in big international research initiatives, and as a result being subject to national and international laws, regulations and policies in both data collection and transfer. While neuroscience data transcends borders, data governance typically stays…

Social, ethical & reflective work in the HBP: The publications list

The HBP is characterised by a profound and broad interdisciplinarity, and it is unique among the large international Brain Initiatives in having included social sciences and humanities in the core research from its very beginning, devoting approximately 5% of the budget to this end. We have compiled a list of all articles, books, and reports related…

Designing a responsible neuroscience research infrastructure

Over the past 8 years, the Human Brain Project (HBP) has tested the strengths and limitations of responsible research & innovation, also known as RRI. To mark the ten-year anniversary of RRI, a group of HBP researchers now share what can be learned from implementing this concept in a large multi-disciplinary research project. This includes…

How do we take responsibility for dual-use research?

We are more often than we think governed by old patterns of thought. As a philosopher, I find it fascinating to see how mental patterns capture us, how we get imprisoned in them, and how we can get out of them. With that in mind, I recently read a book chapter on something that is…

Ethically responsible robot development

Development of new technologies sometimes draws inspiration from nature. How do plants and animals solve the problem? An example is robotics, where one wants to develop better robots based on what neuroscience knows about the brain. How does the brain solve the problem? Neuroscience, in turn, sees new opportunities to test hypotheses about the brain…

Beyond ‘good old CERN’: data and digital research infrastructures

In the popular imaginaries of Research Infrastructures, the ‘good old CERN’ is often seen as the prime example of European Research Infrastructures. Created in the post-World War II and emerging Cold War context of the 1950s, the European Organization of Nuclear Research (CERN) has developed in a highly-regarded success story of international cooperation, scientific discoveries…

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Ethics as renewed clarity about new situations

An article in the journal Big Data & Society criticizes the form of ethics that has come to dominate research and innovation in artificial intelligence (AI). The authors question the same “framework interpretation” of ethics that you could read about on the Ethics Blog last week. However, with one disquieting difference. Rather than functioning as a…

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How can we ensure responsible neurorobotics?

Neurorobotics exists at the intersection of neuroscience and robotics. Some of the ethical concerns raised by the technology are inherited by its parent(s). Worker safety, systems reliability, and unconscious biases, to name a few. But with new technology comes new ethical and social challenges. A recent publication offers an important first step towards responsible neurorobotics.…

How does Ethics Support in the Human Brain Project work?

How does the Ethics Support work package in the Human Brain Project (HBP) work? What are the aims and main activities of Ethics Support? Who are our main collaborators within and outside the HBP? What are future challenges for Ethics Support?  To answer these and other questions and facilitate exchange of information and ideas on…

Engaging Scientists in Ethics

Pelumi Obasaju is a neuroscience PhD candidate with the Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP). This summer from July-September, she spent three months with the Human Brain Project (HBP) Ethics Support Team at De Montfort University (Leicester, UK) as part of a non-laboratory work experience element of training known as PIPS – Professional Internships for…