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The integrated Ethics and Society Program of the Human Brain Project: Reflecting on an ongoing experience

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-37
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Responsible Innovation
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


King's Authors


The EU-funded Human Brain Project (HBP) aimed to deliver advances in brain science, cognitive neuroscience and brain-inspired computing which would have broad-ranging implications and benefit European citizens. Achieving such outcomes is dependent, in part, upon the ability of large scale research projects to anticipate potential needs and concerns of user communities as well as other stakeholders and society in general and integrate these into their research programme. While the responsibility to anticipate such needs and to address them belongs to all those directing the research programme, the HBP has a specific Subproject dedicated to researching society and ethics issues. This seeks to enable research across the HBP to better incorporate societal concerns and ethical awareness into their research design and trajectory. This article describes the structure of the Ethics & Society Subproject, reflects on our experience three years in, and considers some of the challenges in formulating and implementing such a programme for responsible research and innovation.

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