The 4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology (4TU.Ethics) was founded in 2007 by the board of the federation of the three technical universities in the Netherlands (Delft, Eindhoven, and Twente) (www.4tu.nl) to study ethical issues in the development, use and regulation of technology. The board was motivated by the excellent performance of the philosophical research programmes of these three universities in the 1999-2004 research assessment. It is a clear sign of the importance attached by the 4TU.Federation to addressing ethical issues related to technology, and of the confidence the federation board has in these research groups, that among all the current Centres of Excellence of the 4TU.Federation, 4TU.Ethics is the only non-technical centre. Currently the Centre has over sixty senior and junior researchers as members, which makes 4TU.Ethics worldwide the major research centre addressing societally relevant and philosophically challenging issues at the interface between ethics and technology.Since the inclusion of WUR at the start of 2018, 4TU.Ethics now brings together the expertise of the four philosophy departments of the 4TU.Federation member universities in the field of ethics of science, technology and engineering and we have worked to re-define our current vision and mission as a centre.
The three leading universities of technology in the Netherlands – Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology and the University of Twente – have joined forces in the 4TU.Federation. This federation maximizes innovation by combining and concentrating the strengths of all three universities in research, education and knowledge transfer. The 4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology (4TU.Ethics) is one of the six Centres of Excellence of the 4TU.Federation. It is a collaboration of the philosophy sections of the three Dutch Universities of Technology:
- Philosophy section (Eindhoven University of Technology)
- Philosophy section (Delft University of Technology)
- Department of philosophy (University of Twente)
Management rotates between the three sections/departments. At present, the scientific director is Philip Brey, the managing direction is Michael Nagenborg and the assistant director is Karen Buchanan. Here is a chart of the organisation of 4TU.Ethics: