New dissertation project about the Ethics of Innovation [17.09.2014]

Since a couple of years technological visions have received increasing attention in Technology Assessment. Especially in the context of nanotechnology, which has been controversially discussed in public, it became apparent how much visions of technological futures influence the perception of new technologies, raise expectations, but also fuel fears.

In the last two years scholars of Technology Assessment have drawn attention to the role and responsibility of technological visioneers for the technological development. In this respect, many questions came up and are still open: Do actors at the interface between science and technology who provide or promote technological visions comply with their responsibility? Do they even go beyond their competence when they move to fictional grounds? Which types of responsibility have to be distinguished?

The dissertation "Futures, Visions and Responsibility – The Ethics of Innovation" seeks to clarify the two concepts "Leitbild" and vision comparatively and to determine their role in debates about technology in recent years. It will then develop a concept of responsibility and answer the question if it is possible or even required to attribute responsibility to visionary practices.

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