Dipl.-Pol. Christopher Coenen

  • Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS)
    Postfach 3640
    76021 Karlsruhe

Current positions

Fields of work

Social, ethical, other philosophical, historical, cultural and political aspects of (in particular new and emerging) technosciences in areas of overlap between biology and technology

Main topics:

  • Human-machine interaction
  • Converging technologies and nanotechnology
  • Internet and society
  • Neurotechnologies
  • Prosthetics
  • Synthetic biology
  • Human enhancement
  • History of transhumanism and other technofuturist thought

Current projects

  • Project “iRECS – improving Research Ethics Expertise and Competences to Ensure Reliability and Trust in Science”
    Project description
  • Project “QuTec: Quantum Technology Innovations for Society”
    Project description
  • Project “Staying young with robots (JuBot) – Versatile assistance robotics for coping with everyday life”
    Project description
  • Project “Cooperative and Communicating AI methods for medical image-guided diagnostics (CoCoAI)”
    Project description
  • Project “AI Space for Intelligent Health Systems (KI-SIGS)”
    Project description
  • Project “Socio-technical futures as socio-epistemic practices. An analytical matrix for technology assessment”
    Project description
  • Project “FUTUREBODY – The Future of the Body in the Light of Neurotechnology”
    Project description
  • Project “INOPRO – Intelligent Orthotics and Prosthetics”
    Project description

Completed projects

On the internet

Author IDs:



Professional background

2002 - 2009 Member of scientific staff at ITAS, working for TAB
since 2009 Member of scientific staff at ITAS

Selected publications

Coenen, C.
Die Mensch-Maschine als Utopie
2019. Mensch-Maschine-Interaktion : Handbuch zu Geschichte - Kultur - Ethik. Hrsg.: K. Liggieri, 71–80, J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart. doi:10.1007/978-3-476-05604-7_10  

Coenen, C.; Ferrari, A.; Grunwald, A.
Wider die Begrenzung der Enhancement-Debatte auf angewandte Ethik
2018. Die Leistungssteigerung des menschlichen Gehirns. Ed.: N. Erny, 57–85, Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden. doi:10.1007/978-3-658-03683-6_4  

Grunwald, A.; Coenen, C.
Past and present futures of nanotechnology
2018. Nanotechnology Environmental Health and Safety : Risks, Regulation, and Management. Ed.: Matthew S. Hull, 453–466, Elsevier, Amsterdam 

Coenen, C.; Grunwald, A.
Responsible research and innovation (RRI) in quantum technology
2017. Ethics and information technology, 19 (4), 277–294. doi:10.1007/s10676-017-9432-6  

Coenen, C.
Whose Future is it Anyway?
2017. Nanoethics, 11 (2), 123–126. doi:10.1007/s11569-017-0304-7

Recent publications

Book Chapters
Coenen, C.; Grunwald, A.
Von der Erlösung zur Lösungsorientierung und zurück? Quasi-religiöse Zukunftsvisionen als Herausforderung und Chance für die Technikfolgenabschätzung
2022. Immanente Religion – Transzendente Technologie: Technologiediskurse und gesellschaftliche Grenzüberschreitungen. Hrsg.: Sabine Maasen, David Atwood, 159–190, Verlag Barbara Budrich 
Conference Papers
Kazakova, A.; Coenen, C.
Creativity in Engineering - Classics of Modern Dialectical Philosophy Revisited
2022. Technology, Innovation and Creativity in Digital Society: XXI Professional Culture of the Specialist of the Future. Ed.: D. Bylieva, 3–10, Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-89708-6_1
Book Chapters
Coenen, C.
Breaking the Spell of TINA – An Integrative Notion of Technical Progress
2021. Konfigurationen der Zeitlichkeit. Ed.: A. Friedrich, 318–323, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. doi:10.5771/9783748910961-318
Coenen, C.
Transcending Natural Limitations: The Military–Industrial Complex and the Transhumanist Temptation
2021. Transhumanism: The Proper Guide to a Posthuman Condition or a Dangerous Idea?. Ed.: W. Hofkirchner, 97–110, Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-56546-6_6
Kinderlerer, J.; Coenen, C.
South Africa in the times of Mandela’s political rise: A correspondence [in press]
2021. Bester, Coetzee; Britz, Johannes; Capurro, Rafael; Fischer, Rachel (Hg.): Nelson Mandela. A Reader on Information Ethics, 214–224, International Centre for Information Ethics (ICIE) 
Conference Papers
Coenen, C.; Stieglitz, T.
Neurotech-Ethics: Suggestions for the Way Forward
2021. 2021 10th International IEEE/EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering (NER), 639–642, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). doi:10.1109/NER49283.2021.9441374
Maia, M. J.; Nierling, L.; Coenen, C.; Fleischer, T.; Heil, R.; Jahnel, J.; König, H.; Orwat, C.
Research on AI at ITAS
2021. Helmholtz AI Virtual Conference (2021), Online, April 14–15, 2021 Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
Book Chapters
Şahinol, M.; Coenen, C.; Motika, R.
2020. Upgrades der Natur, künftige Körper. Hrsg.: M. Şahinol, V-XVII, Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 
Journal Articles
Hahn, J.; Schneider, C.; Baumann, M. F.; Coenen, C.; Gazsó, A.; Sinozic, T.; Sotoudeh, M.; Weinberger, N.; Woll, S.
Technology assessment for a changing world
2020. Zeitschrift für Technikfolgenabschätzung in Theorie und Praxis, 29 (3), 74–75. doi:10.14512/tatup.29.3.74Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document

List of publications at ITAS