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Consulting European citizens on the ethics of neuroscience research for "dual use"

From October 2017 to December 2017, The Danish Board of Technology Foundation conducted an online consultation across 10 EU countries. In a survey using the online tool EngageSuite, citizens were asked for their opinions on the risks of “dual use” in the Human Brain Project. “Dual use” is defined as the potential risk of HBP research being applied for political, security, intelligence or military purposes.

Following the results of the online consultation, in-person consultations will be carried out in 4 select EU countries, wherein participants engage in discussions regarding the ethical limits to the Human Brain Project at a greater depth. According to one project leader:

“The results of the two consultations will contribute to drawing up the official HBP Opinion on the risks of dual use in neuroscience, a means of highlighting issues of central importance to Human Brain Project. These Opinions will provide waypoints for generating an action plan for ethical and responsible research and innovation in the Human Brain Project.”

The questionnaire page can be found here. The online consultation period has concluded, but the survey form may still be accessed (requires a registered EngageSuite account). Reports from the online and face-to-face consultations will be made available during February and March 2018.

Video introducing the Human Brain Project and the risk of dual use:

The Danish Board of Technology Foundation leads the HBP SP12 engagement activities with stakeholders and the general public and is a member of the HBP ‘Ethics and Society’ that “promotes and implements the principles of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in an ethically sound way that corresponds to the interests of the European society.”

Commencing in 2013, the Human Brain Project is a research initiative co-funded by the European Commission. The 1 billion Euro project seeks to advance research at the intersection of neuroscience, medicine and computing. It is set to run for 10 years.

Tools used

A list of tools that were used during this project: