STOP EU’s The Human Brain Project – Ethics and Society

No to the Human Brain Project

The HBP will launch a major Ethics and Society Programme, which will start its activities at the beginning of the ramp-up phase. The goal of the programme will be to explore the project’s social, ethical and philosophical implications, promoting engagement with decision-makers and the general public, fostering responsible research and innovation by raising social and ethical awareness among project participants, and ensuring that the project is governed in a way that ensures full compliance with relevant legal and ethical norms.

HBP research and technology development has numerous social, ethical and philosophical implications, many of which are long term. The project has an interest in recognising concerns early and in addressing them in an open and transparent manner. In particular, early engagement can provide scientists with opportunities to gauge public reaction to their work, and to hone their research objectives and processes in the light of these reactions.

The programme will draw on the methods developed during empirical investigations of emerging technologies in genomics, neuroscience, synthetic biology, nanotechnology and information and communication technologies as well as on the biomedical tradition of engaging with ethical issues through the application of formal principles – now usually implemented through ethical review processes.

In the ramp-up phase the Ethics and Society Programme will have five main goals:

1. Set up and begin to operate the organisational structures that will provide ethical governance within the project. An Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects Committee (ELSA) – which will monitor and provide guidance on the project’s long-term ethical and social implications – and a Research Ethics Committee (REC) – which will manage and provide advice on issues related to practical research ethics (studies using human volunteers, animal research, use of clinical data collected for other purposes, applications to ethics committees etc.).

2. Set up and begin to operate the project’s Foresight Lab, which will be responsible for monitoring HBP research and exploring its social and ethical implications for European citizens, European industry, the European economy and European society.

3. Begin the project’s investigations into the conceptual and philosophical implications of brain simulation and the emergence of new insights into the relationship between brain and mind. The first results will be published before the end of the ramp-up phase.

4. Launch the HBP online deliberation, a European Citizens’ Convention and a stakeholders’ forum – all part of the HBP’s broader programme of public dialogue and engagement.

5. Launch a survey of ethical perceptions among HBP researchers. This will form the basis for a broader programme of researcher awareness during the operational phase.



~ by mindcontrolinsweden on September 15, 2013.

One Response to “STOP EU’s The Human Brain Project – Ethics and Society”

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