Methods for Practising Ethics in Research and Innovation: A Literature Review, Critical Analysis and Recommendations

Science and Engineering Ethics 24 (5):1437-1481 (2018)

Abstract

This paper provides a systematic literature review, analysis and discussion of methods that are proposed to practise ethics in research and innovation. Ethical considerations concerning the impacts of R&I are increasingly important, due to the quickening pace of technological innovation and the ubiquitous use of the outcomes of R&I processes in society. For this reason, several methods for practising ethics have been developed in different fields of R&I. The paper first of all presents a systematic search of academic sources that present and discuss such methods. Secondly, it provides a categorisation of these methods according to three main kinds: ex ante methods, dealing with emerging technologies, intra methods, dealing with technology design, and ex post methods, dealing with ethical analysis of existing technologies. Thirdly, it discusses the methods by considering problems in the way they deal with the uncertainty of technological change, ethical technology design, the identification, analysis and resolving of ethical impacts of technologies and stakeholder participation. The results and discussion of our literature review are valuable for gaining an overview of the state of the art and serve as an outline of a future research agenda of methods for practising ethics in R&I.

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Author Profiles

Philip Brey
University of Twente
Bert Gordijn
Dublin City University
David Wright
Aston University

References found in this work

Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.
Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action.David M. Rasmussen - 1993 - Philosophical Quarterly 43 (173):571.
Do Artifacts Have Politics?Langdon Winner - 1980 - Daedalus 109 (1):121--136.
Designing Robots for Care: Care Centered Value-Sensitive Design.Aimee van Wynsberghe - 2013 - Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (2):407-433.

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