The aim of this PhD project is to perform an ethical study of human enhancement technologies and techniques that considers their full range, their potential future development, and the various ethical implications in different domains and for different stakeholders. The study should also help answer the question how society should respond to these technologies: how they should be regulated, what ethical codes and protocols there should be in place, and what the responsibility of various actors is with respect to them. Within this general scope, there is room to focus the project in your own way. About 60% of the position is linked to the SIENNA project (see below), and in those 60%, you collaborate with other researchers in writing reports that address ethical issues in human enhancement and their practical application, and that also addresses the question of how we can develop general approaches for ethical analysis and ethical governance of new technologies. You will be the main author of most of the reports on human enhancement. About 20% of the position is for completion of the dissertation based on the reports that you have authored, and about 20% is for taking courses and providing support for other tasks in the department, particularly teaching.
The SIENNA project
SIENNA a prestigious and exciting 3 ½ – year international project that is funded through the European Union Horizon 2020 “Science with and for Society” program with a budget of 4 million euros. It is a world-wide project with participating institutes from thirteen countries, including the Netherlands, UK, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Spain, France, Greece, United States, South Africa, Brazil, Japan, and China. The five largest participants are the University of Twente, Uppsala University, Trilateral Research, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, and the European Network of Research Ethics Committees (EUREC). Harvard University (USA) and Chuo University (Japan) are associated partners. The project will take place from October 1st, 2017 to April 1st, 2021, and is led by University of Twente (coordinator: prof. dr. Philip Brey).
The aim of the project is to promote enhanced consideration of ethical and human rights issues in new and emerging technologies with major socio-economic impact and human rights relevance. In the project, we will provide an extensive ethical analysis of three technologies, human enhancement, human genomics and robotics & artificial intelligence. We will also consider legal and human rights aspects. We will develop ethical frameworks for all three technologies and translate and adapt them, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, to produce four practical tools and resources for each technology: (a) operational guidelines for research ethics committees for these technologies, (b) codes of responsible conduct for researchers who develop these technologies, (c) proposals for revisions of existing ethical frameworks, and (d) proposals for revisions of existing legal frameworks, all of which should have acceptance and approval of relevant stakeholders. We also aim to generalize the approaches for ethical analysis and for developing, translating and adapting ethical frameworks so that they can be applied to other new and emerging technologies.
The project is supported by an advisory board, with scholars such as Allan Buchanan, Julian Savulescu, Erik Parens and Mark Coeckelbergh, and by a stakeholder board, which includes the World Health Organisation, UNESCO-COMEST, Council of Europe, Human Genome Organisation, IEEE, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society, and others.