Peter-Paul Verbeek joins UNESCO commission on ethics

Professor in Philosophy of Technology and 3TU.Ethics member Peter-Paul Verbeek has been appointed as a member of UNESCO’s COMEST, the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology. Peter-Paul joins the ranks of eighteen highly regarded key players in various disciplines (science, law, philosophy, culture and politics) from all over the globe.

The Commission fulfils an advisory role on topics around environmental issues, climate change, biodiversity, water and disaster management; the ethics of nano- and other new technologies; ethical dillemma’s concerning technology in an information- and knowledge-based society; ethics of science and gender issues in the ethics of science and technology. The aim is to formulate principles that will contribute to non-economic criteria for policy makers and politicians to be applied in their decision making processes.

Verbeek, who is appointed for a period of four years, considers it a great honor to be part of an worldwide discussion on the ethical aspects of science and technology. “Not only because science and technology have effects on society worldwide, but also because of the variety of ethical frameworks that are being used in the working field”, Verbeek states. “It gives the opportunity to bring in my expertise in philosophy of technology in a meaningful way, offering additional tools for dealing with societal and political issues.”


Additionally, Verbeek expects COMEST will form a source of new inspiration for new research in the field of philosophy and ethics of technology. “Technology not only evokes new ethical questions, but will influence our ethical framework as a whole. The wider UNESCO context will make such questions and influences explicitly visible.”


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