The 4TU center for. Ethics and Technology is a collaboration between four technical Universities in The Netherlands: Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research and University of Twente. It is a community of researchers that aims to stimulate and perform research in the field of ethics and technology, both fundamental and applied. 4TU.Ethics aims to address societal challenges in the context of a globalized and inter-connected world, and to advance understanding of ethical issues in engineering and technology development.
4TU.Ethics further aims to contribute to better practices in these areas, to innovate education in the ethics of technology, among others by means of the 4TU.Ethics graduate school, and to engage with societal stakeholders and public discussions about technology. As a center, 4TU.ethics regularly organizes academic events such as workshops, conferences, courses, and seminars. The blog team consisting of PhD-student members also regularly posts interesting blogs.
Science and technology are of paramount social, political and economic importance in the 21st century. They are not only drivers of economic and social developments; they shape our societies, practices and institutions. In order to come to grips with science and technology and to make adequate and appropriate political and policy decisions regarding them, we need to reflect on the ethical aspects of their development, the moral acceptability of their application, and their contribution to the quality of life and well-being. It is now widely recognized that technologies must be developed and used responsibly, as many choices are involved with major implications for health and safety, environmental quality, civil liberties, social justice, and the quality of life.
It is relatively easy to embark on unfettered technological development, but it is much harder to incorporate our considered moral values in research, design, development and production. Nevertheless the ability and knowledge to do so may be an important differentiator between mere clever technology and engineering and smart and responsible innovations. It is fitting for the four technical universities of the Netherlands, who are at the forefront of these developments internationally, to take up this responsibility by investing in research in the field of ethics of technology.
The bundling of forces in the field of ethics and technology in the 4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology accommodates the increasing need for balanced, high quality and comprehensive reflection and judgment on moral, political and policy issues associated with science and technology.
The current coordination team consists of: 4TU.Ethics scientific director prof. dr. Vincent Blok; managing director dr. Jochem Zwier and coordinator drs. Mariska Bosschaert.
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