New Technologies as Social Experiments: Conditions for Morally Responsible Experimentation

Summary

Technologies like biotechnology, nanotechnology and nuclear energy technology not only bring large social benefits but also introduce potentially catastrophic hazards. Many of the conventional approaches to risk governance are not directly applicable to these fields due to high levels of uncertainty and ignorance about potential hazards. To overcome this problem, the proposed research conceptualizes technology as a form of social experimentation and investigates the conditions under which such social experiments are morally acceptable. In this perspective, introduction of technology into society is not seen as a one-off decision but rather as an ongoing social experiment. On the basis of a conceptualization of technology as social experimentation, conditions for responsible experimentation are proposed and applied to three technological domains: nanotechnology, biotechnology, and nuclear technology. All these domains are characterized by a combination of large potential benefits, potential catastrophic hazards and high levels of uncertainty. On the basis of an evaluation of these domain applications, the conditions for responsible experimentation will be revised and refined. The conditions will also be compared with proposals in the literature on management under uncertainty and ignorance and on the regulation of new emerging technologies. The resulting conditions for responsible experimentation are relevant for national, European and international policy with respect to new technologies. The proposal will also help to find new ground in the stalemate between proponents and opponents of new technologies who both start from the assumption that the introduction of technology into society is a one-off decision while radically disagreeing on what normative and evidential grounds these decisions should be made. Lastly, by applying the notion of social experimentation the proposed research develops a new paradigm for ethical analyses of new technologies, which recognizes that uncertainty and ignorance cannot be fully reduced before new technologies enter society.

Products

Scientific article

Chapter in book

  • I.R. van de Poel, S. Roeser, R. Hillerbrand, J. Nihlen-Fahlquist, M. Peterson, P. Sandin(2012): Essentials of Risk Theory pp. 107 - 143 , Dordrecht
  • P. Brey, I.R. van de Poel, A. Briggle, E. Spence(2012): The Good Life in a Technological Age pp. 295 - 306 , New York
  • I.R. van de Poel, A. Grunwald(2013): Handbuch Technikethik pp. 133 - 137 , Stuttgart/Weimar
  • N Doorn, A Grunwald(2013): Handbuch Technikethik pp. 169 - 173 , Stuttgart
  • J. Britt Holbrook, I.R. van de Poel(2014): Ethics, Science, Technology, and Engineering: A Global Resource pp. 71 - 75 , Farmington Hills, MI
  • N. Doorn, I.R. van de Poel, D. Schuurbiers, N. Doorn, I.R. van de Poel, M.E. Gorman(2014): Early engagement and new technologies: Opening up the laboratory pp. 111 - 136 , Dordrecht
  • D. Mitchfelder, I.R. van de Poel, N. McCarty, D.E. Goldberg(2014): Philosophy and Engineering: Reflections on Practice, Principles and Process pp. 253 - 266 , Dordrecht
  • P.E. Vermaas, I.R. van de Poel, R. Hillerbrand(2014): Oxford Bibliographies Online pp. --- , Oxford
  • N. Doorn, N. Doorn, D. Schuurbiers, D. Schuurbiers, I.R. van de Poel, I.R. van de Poel, M.E. Gorman, M.E. Gorman(2014): Early engagement and new technologies: Opening up the laboratory pp. 233 - 251 , Dordrecht
  • N. Doorn, D. Schuurbiers, D. Schuurbiers, N. Doorn, I.R. van de Poel, I.R. van de Poel, M.E. Gorman, M.E. Gorman(2014): Early engagement and new technologies: Opening up the laboratory pp. 3 - 14 , Dordrecht
  • P.A. Kroes, I.R. van de Poel, P.P.C.C. Verbeek, P.A. Kroes(2014): The moral status of technical artefacts pp. 103 - 124 , Dordrecht
  • S.O. Hansson, I.R. van de Poel(2015): The Role of Technology in Science: Philosophical Perspectives pp. 225 - 233 , Dordrecht
  • P. Kroes, P Vermaas, IR van de Poel, MJ van den Hoven, IR van de Poel(2015): Handbook of Ethics, Values, and Technological Design pp. 151 - 178
  • P Vermaas, IR van de Poel, IR van de Poel, JM van den Hoven(2015): Handbook of Ethics, Values, and Technological Design pp. 667 - 690
  • IR van de Poel, IR van de Poel, P Vermaas, JM van den Hoven(2015): Handbook of Ethics, Values, and Technological Design, pp. 89 - 116
  • WJ Gonzalez, IR van de Poel(2015): New Perspectives on Technology, Values, and Ethics pp. 29 - 46
  • IR van de Poel, H ten Have(2015): Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics pp. 1112 - 1121
  • B. Taebi, IR Van de Poel, S. Roeser(2015): he Ethics of Nuclear Energy: Risk, Justice and Democracy in the post-Fukushima Era, pp. 179 - 199
  • IR van de Poel, RP Wierzchoslawski, P Kawalec(2015): Social Responsibility and Science in innovation Economy pp. 115 - 164 , Lublin
  • J. Nihlen Fahlquist, MJ van den Hoven, IR van de Poel, N. Doorn(2015): Handbook of Ethics, Values, and Technological Design pp. 473 - 490
  • P Vermaas, IR van de Poel, J van den Hoven, IR van de Poel, P Vermaas, J van den Hoven(2015): Handbook of Ethics, Values, and Technological Design pp. 1 - 7
  • S.O. Hansson, N Doorn, G Hirsch Hadorn(2016): The Argumentative Turn in Policy Analysis pp. 245 - 263
  • WMA Meijers, P Vermaas, M Franssen, IR van de Poel(2016): Philosophy of Technology after the Empirical Turn pp. 177 - 193

Book or monography

  • LMM Royakkers, IR van de Poel(2011): Ethics, technology and engineering.
  • N. Doorn, D. Schuurbiers, I.R. van de Poel, M.E. Gorman(2014): Early engagement and new technologies , Dordrecht
  • M.J. Van den Hoven, N Doorn, T. Swierstra, B.-J. Koops, H. Romijn(2014): Responsible Innovation 1 , Dordrecht
  • M.J. van den Hoven, IR van de Poel, P Vermaas(2015): Handbook of ethics and values in technological design. Sources, Theory, Values and Application

Publication meant for a broad audience

  • W. Meyboom(2011): Anders denken over nieuwe technologie pp. 8 - 11
  • I.R. van de Poel, S. Roeser(2011): Emotie verdient plek in kernenergiedebat
  • A. de Vos(2011): Dialoog pp. 122 - 127
  • Shannon Spruit(2012): Hoe ga je om met technologie vol onzekerheden
  • Shannon Spruit(2012): Het grote nanodilemma
  • (2013): Innovatie behoeft aandacht voor morele waarden pp. 16 - 21
  • (2013): Experimenteer (met schaliegas)! pp. 156 - 157
  • I.R. van de Poel, S. Spruit(2013): Tijdschrift Milieu: Experimenteren met nanodeeltjes in de maatschappij pp. 32 - 35
  • I.R. van de Poel(2014): de MOOC pp. 152 - 153
  • (2014): Windmolens onrendabel, nou en?
  • N Doorn(2015): Renewable poised to soar as 'game-changing' moment comes
  • Twentse Courant(2015): Gif in zoutholtes: ‘Doe het niet!
  • N Doorn(2015): Maatschappelijk verantwoord innoveren vergroot de kans op een succesvolle (energie)transitie
  • B Taebi, N Doorn(2015): Volkswagen Scandal Reveals Design Flaws: The Need for Value Conscious Design
  • N Doorn(2015): Volkswagendebacle is leerschool ontwerper
  • N Doorn(2015): Fossiele energie bestaat bij de gratie van wereldwijde miljardensubsidies
  • S.L. Spruit(2015): De afbakening van iets heel kleins
  • SL Spruit(2016): Technologie zal ons tot slaaf maken
  • L van Raaij(2016): ‘Maak activiteiten in bodem onderdeel maatschappelijke discussie’
  • SL Spruit(2016): Miskende genieën
  • SL Spruit(2016): Werkloosheid is ongewenst, toch?

Publical information

  • I.R. van de Poel(2011): Techniek ontwikkeling als maatschappleijk experiment
  • I.R. van de Poel(2011): Member of the editorial board of the journal Accountability in Research
  • I.R. van de Poel(2011): Associate editor of the Springer book series on Philosophy of Engineering and Technology
  • I.R. van de Poel(2011): How to compare energy options in the light of value incommensurability?
  • I.R. van de Poel(2011): Redactie Techne
  • I.R. van de Poel(2011): Trade-offs and commensurability in engineering design
  • I.R. van de Poel(2011): New technologies as social experiments
  • Z Robaey, A. Simons(2012): Responsible management of social experiments: Challenges for policymaking
  • I.R. van de Poel(2012): New technologies as social experiments
  • I.R. van de Poel(2012): Member of the editorial board of the journal Accountability in Research
  • I.R. van de Poel(2012): Nieuwe technologie als sociaal experiment
  • Jan Bergen, Zoe Robaey, Shannon Spruit(2012): Wide reflective equilibrium and emotions in decision-making on new technologies: Justification and Emotions
  • N. Doorn(2012): Technologies as social experiments: Challenges for regulation and governance of risks
  • Jan Bergen(2012): On the problem of irreversibility for responsible experimentation with new technologies: an exploration
  • I.R. van de Poel(2012): Values in Engineering and Technology
  • I.R. van de Poel(2012): New Technologies as social experiments
  • I.R. van de Poel(2012): Associate editor of the Springer book series on Philosophy of Engineering and Technology
  • I.R. van de Poel(2012): New Technologies as Social experiments
  • I.R. van de Poel(2012): Redactie Techne
  • I.R. van de Poel(2012): New technologies as social experiments
  • I.R. van de Poel(2012): Member of the editorial board of the journal Science and Engineering Ethics
  • I.R. van de Poel(2012): Nieuwe technologie als sociaal experiment
  • Shannon Spruit(2012): Contextualizing the experimental nature of nanotechnology
  • I.R. van de Poel(2013): Associate editor of the Springer book series on Philosophy of Engineering and Technology
  • N Doorn(2013): Responsibilities in regulating nano-cosmetics
  • Z. Robaey(2013): Similarities and differences between clinical trials and GMOs as a social experiment ? implications for moral responsibility
  • I.R. van de Poel(2013): Responsibility issues in the governance of responsible innovation
  • S. Spruit(2013): A systematic reflection on the feasibility of Informed Consent for various Dependency Relationships
  • I.R. van de Poel, S. Spruit, J. Bergen(2013): Workshop 'Responsible Risk Governance of Experimental Technologies'
  • B Taebi, SL Spruit, JP Bergen, ZH Robaey, C.G. van Burken, M Poznic(2013): Global Perspectives
  • J. Bergen(2013): An Exploration of Irreversibility and Morally Responsible Nuclear Energy Technologies
  • I.R. van de Poel(2013): Redactie Techne
  • I.R. van de Poel(2013): Member of the editorial board of the journal Accountability in Research
  • J. P. Bergen(2013): Responsible nuclear energy technology development -? What are we experimenting with?
  • S. Spruit(2013): Presentation 'Responsible Nanomaterial Innovation'
  • I.R. van de Poel(2013): Member of the editorial board of the journal Science and Engineering Ethics
  • I.R. van de Poel(2013): Design for sustainability
  • N. Doorn(2014): Framing stakeholder participation: From interests to building blocks
  • N. Doorn(2014): The distribution of natural risks: Reconciling efficiency and equity
  • J. P. Bergen(2014): Conceptualising Technological Reversibility for the Case of Geological Disposal of Nuclear Waste
  • (2014): Taking care of nanoparticles
  • I.R. van de Poel, Z. Robaey, J. Bergen(2014): Workhop new technologies as social experiments
  • SL Spruit, ZH Robaey, L Asveld(2014): Exhibition: New Technologies as Social Experiments
  • JP Bergen(2014): Conceptualizing Technological Reversibility for the Case of Geological Disposal of Nuclear Waste
  • L Asveld(2014): When failing is an option: Sustainable politics as experiments.
  • I.R. van de Poel(2014): Are social experiments with technology real experiments?
  • (2014): Member of the editorial board of the journal Accountability in Research
  • S.L. Spruit(2014): Mapping the nanotechnology community and it's responsibilities
  • S. Spruit(2014): Extending informed consent to producer-consumer and employer-employee relations
  • SL Spruit, G Hoople, D Rolfe(2014): Poster: Enabling Responsibly?
  • Z. Robaey(2014): Attributing responsibility for GM risks through ownership
  • (2014): The link between ownership and moral responsibility for the case of GMOs
  • I.R. van de Poel(2014): Associate editor of the Springer book series on Philosophy of Engineering and Technology
  • C. Timmermann, ZH Robaey(2014): Agrobiodiversity, the common heritage principle and market incentives
  • IR van de Poel(2014): Member of the editorial board of the book series on Philosophy, Technology and Society (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • I.R. van de Poel(2014): Member of the editorial board of the book series on Philosophy, Technology and Society (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • N Doorn(2014): Editor-in-Chief of Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology (Journal of the Society for Philosophy and Technology)
  • IR van de Poel(2014): Nuclear security as societal risk
  • Z. Robaey(2014): Looking for moral responsibility in ownership: a way to deal with hazards of GMOs
  • IR van de Poel(2014): How to deal with the unknown future?
  • J. Bergen(2014): Conceptualizing reversibility in the nuclear energy experiment
  • (2014): Mapping the Nanotechnology community and its responsibilities.
  • ZH Robaey(2014): A Commentary on Engineering Ethics Education, or How to Bring about Change without Needing Scandals.
  • ZH Robaey(2014): Sharing Moral Responsibility for Hazards of GMOs
  • ZH Robaey(2014): Gone with the wind: moral responsibility in the case of GMO contamination
  • (2014): Moral responsibility for hazards of GMOs
  • L Asveld(2014): Deconstructing bioeconomic innovation narratives
  • I.R. van de Poel(2014): Member of the editorial board of the Springer book series Springer Briefs on Ethical and Legal Issues in Biomedicine and Technology
  • J. P. Bergen(2014): Conceptualizing Reversibility in the Nuclear Energy Experiment
  • (2014): Member of the editorial board of the journal Science and Engineering Ethics
  • IR van de Poel(2015): Morally experimenting with new technologies
  • IR van de Poel, PA Kroes(2015): Social acceptance versus social acceptability of technological innovations
  • J Bergen(2015): Infinitely Puzzling: with Levinas and Dewey Towards an Experimental Techno-Politics.
  • IR van de Poel(2015): Associate editor of the Springer book series on Philosophy of Engineering and Technology
  • IR van de Poel(2015): Ethics and technology 2.0: Responsible innovation and value sensitive design
  • IR van de Poel(2015): Member of the editorial board of the journal Accountability in Research
  • L Asveld, D Stemerding(2015): The bioeconomy as a Social Experiment: The Ecover Case.
  • J Bergen(2015): The Phenomenological Foundations of Technological Irreversibility
  • N Doorn(2015): The distribution of risks: An allocation principle for distributing reversible and irreversible consequences
  • Z Robaey(2015): On Good Ownership of New Technologies
  • IR van de Poel(2015): Member of the editorial board of the book series on Philosophy, Technology and Society (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • IR van de Poel(2015): Nuclear energy as social experiment
  • L Asveld, D Stemerding(2015): Social learning in the bioeconomy: The case of Ecover.
  • S.L. Spruit, Z.H. Robaey(2015): Impact! Ethical reflection through art
  • S.L. Spruit(2015): Talkshowgast: De afbakening van iets kleins
  • IR van de Poel(2015): The introduction of new technologies in society: experimentation, learning and ethics
  • IR van de Poel(2015): Innovation under social experiments, the case of nanotechnology
  • IR van de Poel(2015): Member of the editorial board of the journal Science and Engineering Ethics
  • N Doorn(2015): The distribution of natural risks: Reconciling efficiency and equity
  • S Spruit, J Bergen, Z Roabey, L Asveld, IR van de Poel(2015): International conference Experimenting with new technologies in society
  • IR van de Poel(2015): Member of the editorial board of the Springer book series Springer Briefs on Ethical and Legal Issues in Biomedicine and Technology
  • Z Robaey(2015): Safe by Design in synthetic biology – whose responsibility?
  • I.R. van de Poel(2015): Technology, ethics, experimentation and art
  • IR van de Poel(2015): Ethics & Risk
  • IR van de Poel(2015): Nuclear waste storage as social experiment
  • Z Robaey(2015): Safe by Design in synthetic biology – whose responsibility?
  • I.R. van de Poel, L. Asveld(2015): New Technologies as Social Experiments: implications for risk governance
  • J Bergen(2015): Infinitely Puzzling: with Levinas and Dewey Towards an Experimental Techno-Politics.
  • IR van de Poel(2015): New technologies as social experiments, the case of waste storage in salt caverns
  • IR van de Poel(2015): Value sensitive design
  • L. Asveld, I.R. van de Poel(2015): Avoiding policy lock-in: governance by experimentation
  • IR van de Poel(2016): Engineering ethics education without borders
  • IR van de Poel(2016): Teaching engineering ethics
  • IR van de Poel(2016): Responsible Innovation in Industry
  • IR van de Poel(2016): Member of the editorial board of the journal Accountability in Research
  • IR van de Poel(2016): Member of the editorial board of the journal Science and Engineering Ethics
  • IR van de Poel(2016): Associate editor of the Springer book series on Philosophy of Engineering and Technology
  • S Low, SL Spruit, R Smith, S Schaefer(2016): Workshop on engaged STS: ‘Flexing and reflexing authority in STS engagements
  • IR van de Poel(2016): Ethics and technology 2.0: value sensitive design and responsible innovation
  • IR van de Poel(2016): Member of the editorial board of the book series on Philosophy, Technology and Society (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • IR van de Poel(2016): Can Safer by Design approaches to nanotechnology deal with uncertainty?
  • L Asveld, D Stemerding(2016): Algae oil on trial: Conflicting views of Technology and Nature.
  • IR van de Poel(2016): Member of the editorial board of the Springer book series Springer Briefs on Ethical and Legal Issues in Biomedicine and Technology
  • J Bergen(2016): Monty Python and Philosophy: A Sketchy Narrative.

Thesis

Details

Project number

277-20-003

Main applicant

Prof. dr. ir. I.R. van de Poel

Affiliated with

Technische Universiteit Delft

Team members

Dr. L. Asveld, Dr. L. Asveld, Drs. J.P. Bergen, Dr. mr. ir. N. Doorn, Dr. mr. ir. N. Doorn, Dr. mr. ir. N. Doorn, Dr. D.C. Mehos, Prof. dr. ir. I.R. van de Poel, Drs. Z.H. Robaey, Drs. S.L. Spruit, Drs. S.L. Spruit

Duration

01/07/2011 to 01/07/2016