Ethical impact assessment

We will use a model for ethical impact assessment (EIA) that includes assessments of technological conceptualisation, socio-economic and ethical impact for human genomics, human enhancement, and human-machine interaction.

Based on the EIA, we will carry out an ethical evaluation and develop recommendations. These recommendations will be combined with analysis of related legal and human rights issues. The result will be guidelines for research ethics committees and professional codes that are relevant and specific.

Ethical impact assessment traditionally (EIA) has four steps:

  • Technological conceptualisation and foresight analysis: We will consult with scientists, engineers and other experts about the current state of the technology and future developments.
  • Socio-economic impact assessment and foresight analysis: We will survey the literature on current and future social and economic impacts of the technology. This work will be done by social scientists and ethicists in consultation with other social scientists, economists, experts and stakeholders.
  • Ethical impact analysis: Ethicists will analyse current and (potential) future ethical issues and do a foresight analysis. This work is based on surveys and evaluations of existing literature, methods for ethical impact screening, and extensive expert and stakeholder consultation (including members of the public).
  • Ethical evaluation and recommendations: Based on this work, we will develop ethical guidelines and recommendations.

SIENNA adapts the EIA method by adding a fifth step that combines ethical evaluation and recommendations with legal and human rights analyses:

  • Critical evaluation and guidelines: This work also includes stakeholder consultations with research ethics committees and professional organisations.