Book launch ‘Ethics of Technological Risks’

Media appearances resulting from the book (launch)

  • “Angst is een goede raadgever” – De Volkskrant, 02-21-2009
  • “Techniek is nooit neutraal” – Trouw, 02-17-2009
  • “Risico’s van technologie” – Noorderlicht Radio
    Listen Online, 02-17-2009
  • “Rationele Angst” – TU Delta, 02-11-2009
  • “L’éthique doit précéder la technologie” – L’Atelier, 02-11-2009

Book reviews


14:30 – Coffee/tea
15:00 – Opening by Sabine Roeser (TU Delft)
15:10 – Risks, ethics and internet-driven name and shame
Corien Prins (Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society)
15:35 – Reply by Jeroen van den Hoven (3TU.Center for Ethics and Technology)
15:45 – Discussion
16:00 – Break
16:15 – Column by Lotte Asveld (Rathenau Institute)
16:25 – What has risk to do with ethics?
Sven Ove Hansson (Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm)
16:50 – Reply by Frans Brom (Rathenau Institute & Wageningen University)
17:00 – Discussion
17:15 – Drinks

Abstracts of presentations

What has risk to do with ethics?
Matters of risk are often quite technical. Should we therefore leave it to experts to determine which risks are acceptable and which are most in need of mitigation? Hansson argues that problems of risk are largely ethical, since they involve issues such as voluntariness, fairness, and rights. In order to find ways to deal responsibly with risk we need first of all to recognize the ethical issues that are involved.

Risks, ethics and internet-driven name and shame
The online world facilitates a new dimension of vigilantism – often referred to as digilantism. Several characteristics of Internet, among them its interconnectedness and the lack of traditional institutional control mechanisms, allow for various forms of ‘do-it-yourself justice’ and ‘eye-for-an-eye’ types of revenge. The development may have advantages in strengthening previously weak people (e.g. victims of crime). However, digilantism may also bring risks to innocent individuals as well as broader societal values. Based on perspectives presented in the book, this talk will briefly sketch some of these name and shame-related risks.

Practical information

Participation and registration

Participation is for free. Because of the limited number of places available and catering arrangements we would, however, like to ask you to register, using this registration form.

The book

Asveld, Lotte and Sabine Roeser, eds. (2009). The Ethics of Technological Risk. London: Earthscan Publishers. Hardback – November 2008 – 320 pages – ISBN: 9781844076383

Content of the book

This volume brings together top authors from the fields of risk, philosophy, social sciences and psychology to address the issue of how we should decide how far technological risks are morally acceptable or not. The underlying principles are examined, along with methodological challenges, public involvement and instruments for democratization. A strong theoretical basis is complemented by a range of case studies from some of the most contentious areas, including medical ethics and GM crops.

Book content (pdf)

About the editors

Editors of the book are Lotte Asveld and Sabine Roeser, former respectively current researcher within the Department of Philosophy (TU Delft) / 3TU.Ethics. The book is a result of a conference that the two editors together organized at TU Delft on the same topic in 2006.

More information



Grotere kaart weergeven

Note for the press

Voor meer informatie over het boek en het programma kunt u contact opnemen met Sabine Roeser, e-mail: {encode=”” title=””}, 015 – 27 88 77 9.

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