Code of ethics for real-world labs

Project description

Codes of ethics and ethical guidelines are intended to guide scientific practice in research and teaching – at a general level (such as the DFG Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice), at the level of individual disciplines (e.g., the Ethical Principles of the Engineering Profession of the VDI) or related to specific types of research (e.g., Nuremberg Code on Medical Experimentation).

New types of research and development require new guidelines and codes. These include real-world labs: transdisciplinary research and development facilities designed to contribute to societal sustainability transformation. Since their beginnings about ten years ago, they have gained considerable importance and are now among the most prominent transformative approaches at the interface of science, civil society, and business. The participatory and especially transformative nature of real-world lab research distinguishes it from traditional types of research and raises other ethical issues for those involved. For example, scientists become directly involved in transformation processes, accompany and research them from an internal perspective, or sometimes initiate and shape them – and thus become agents of transformation themselves. Real-world lab research is also conducted in close transdisciplinary cooperation with practice partners. Co-design, cooperation, and co-evaluation are effective means. But who benefits (how) from the jointly developed results? The predominant mode of real-world lab research is experimentation. However, this does not take place behind closed doors but in a “real-world,” social context, in everyday life. What needs to be considered here? How do you deal with failure in such a setting?

Explicating these and other questions and identifying approaches for dealing with them is the subject of the project “Code of ethics for real-world labs,” which is being carried out in close cooperation between the Academy for Responsible Research, Teaching, and Innovation (ARRTI) and the Karlsruhe Transformation Center for Sustainability and Cultural Change (KAT). The project work is based on KAT’s many years of experience as a pioneer in real-world lab development. This allows examining the ethical implications of real-world lab work in a practice-oriented manner without neglecting philosophical ethical reflection. The aim of the project is to develop a code of ethics for real-world labs – starting with an internal KIT draft, which in a second step will be put up for discussion and participatory elaboration in the Network of Real-World Labs for Sustainability and then internationally.

Contact

Prof. Dr. Dr. Rafaela Hillerbrand
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe
Germany

Tel.: +49 721 608-26450
E-mail

Dr. Oliver Parodi
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe
Germany

Tel.: +49 721 608-26816
E-mail