Methods for Practising Ethics in Research and Innovation: A Literature Review, Critical Analysis and Recommendations

Wessel Reijers, David Wright, Philip Brey, Karsten Weber, Rowena Rodrigues, Declan O’Sullivan, Bert Gordijn

Abstract

This paper provides a systematic literature review, analysis and discussion of methods that are proposed to practise ethics in research and innovation (R&I). Ethical considerations concerning the impacts of R&I are increasingly important, due to the quickening pace of technological innovation and the ubiquitous use of the outcomes of R&I processes in society. For this reason, several methods for practising ethics have been developed in different fields of R&I. The paper first of all presents a systematic search of academic sources that present and discuss such methods. Secondly, it provides a categorisation of these methods according to three main kinds: (1) ex ante methods, dealing with emerging technologies, (2) intra methods, dealing with technology design, and (3) ex post methods, dealing with ethical analysis of existing technologies. Thirdly, it discusses the methods by considering problems in the way they deal with the uncertainty of technological change, ethical technology design, the identification, analysis and resolving of ethical impacts of technologies and stakeholder participation. The results and discussion of our literature review are valuable for gaining an overview of the state of the art and serve as an outline of a future research agenda of methods for practising ethics in R&I.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages45
JournalScience and engineering ethics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 12 Sep 2017

Fingerprint

Research Ethics
Innovation
Technology
Ethical Analysis
Ethics
Inventions
Uncertainty

Keywords

  • Ethical impact assessment
  • Ethics assessment
  • Ethics of technology
  • Practising ethics
  • Research and innovation

Cite this

Reijers, Wessel; Wright, David; Brey, Philip; Weber, Karsten; Rodrigues, Rowena; O’Sullivan, Declan; Gordijn, Bert / Methods for Practising Ethics in Research and Innovation : A Literature Review, Critical Analysis and Recommendations.

12.09.2017.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

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Methods for Practising Ethics in Research and Innovation : A Literature Review, Critical Analysis and Recommendations. / Reijers, Wessel; Wright, David; Brey, Philip; Weber, Karsten; Rodrigues, Rowena; O’Sullivan, Declan; Gordijn, Bert.

12.09.2017.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

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Reijers W, Wright D, Brey P, Weber K, Rodrigues R, O’Sullivan D et al. Methods for Practising Ethics in Research and Innovation: A Literature Review, Critical Analysis and Recommendations. 2017 Sep 12. Available from, DOI: 10.1007/s11948-017-9961-8