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Envisioning ethics – what does it mean to integrate ethical reflection into the early phases of technology development? 
Wenzel Mehnert (Technische Universität Berlin)
Nele Fischer (Technische Universität Berlin)
Sabine Ammon (TU Berlin)
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Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

The doing and making of ethics within technology development raises central questions on the role of STS and the normativities involved. This panel invites scholars and practitioners to exchange experiences, reflections and questions. It contributes to the ongoing debate and self-understanding.

Long Abstract:

The development of technologies is entangled with promises of a better world and concerns about undesired effects (like discrimination). Their development is prefigured by the implicit ethics of developers and the conceptual framing of the development process. The respective values inscribed influence the potential implications. Accordingly, integrating ethical reflections already within the early phases of technological development offers an entry point to envision not only a technology, but also its ethical foundations and implications. The resulting insights can be reintegrated into the development process to foster responsible technology designs.

Integrating ethics is a highly debated topic in doing STS. It raises central practical questions on the role of the ethicist, the normativities engaged and the active positions towards making and doing transformation of and within technological development.

This combined format open panel invites scholars and practitioners to exchange their experiences, reflections and strategies with the following questions:

a) Who should integrate ethical reflection in technology development? What is the role of the STS scholar or ethicist?

b) How is an integration of ethics (not) possible? What are experiences with approaches, tools, …?

c) How are you tackling implicit value systems (including your own)? What are the points of reference for ethical evaluation?

During the session, all contributors act as panelists in a discussion facilitated by the panel organizers. We start with each participant introducing their work and background in 3-5min. The main part of the session revolves around the (tentative) answers and thoughts to the questions. Emerging insights are captured live and discussed at the end. The audience is warmly invited to join with questions and statements.

If you would like to participate, your abstract should contain:

- a short reflection on the questions above

- a brief overview on your project / work

- a short biography

Accepted contributions: