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Practice for responsible molecular robotics in interdisciplinary technology assessment – Dr. Stephan Lingner Speaker at the 2nd International Conference on Molecular Robot Ethics in Tokyo, Japan on 9. October 2018

Monday, 08 October 2018

Dr. Stephan Lingner, Deputy Director of the EA European Academy and head of Department Technology Assessment, will be speaker at the 2nd International Conference on Molecular Robot Ethics in Tower-Hall Funabori in Tokyo, Japan on the 9th of October.

Molecular Robotics is an emerging interdisciplinary research field among robotics, chemistry and biology. The idea of Molecular Robotics is designed as a new technology with the motivation to create new options for e.g. easing human life and supporting health. The current developments are mainly put forward by scientists at the intersection between molecular biology and bioengineering. Molecular robots need – as any new development – for broad social acceptability and desirability in order to become a welcomed and marketable innovation. And this is the point where other professions like economics, social sciences and ethics come in to investigate and assess the chances and risks of molecular robots for society. Dr. Lingner will point out in his speech how reflective assessments should ideally integrate the relevant bio-scientists and engineers into an interdisciplinary effort.

Dr. Lingner will present in his speech an efficient framework for the analysis and assessment of new or emerging technologies and their potentials and government for human society, developed at the EA European Academy. This framework has been successfully practiced since 22 years within more than 45 assessment projects at the EA European Academy (e.g. on robotics, nanotechnology and synthetic biology) for national ministries and trusts as well as for the European Commission. Basic features of this framework are: coordinated regular experts’ discourses within interdisciplinary working groups, moderate project lifetime (2-3 years), mutual acknowledgement of participating disciplines and related arguments, rational and impartial investigations, joint consent on appraisals and on recommendations for the actor’s level.

Dr. Lingner will illustrate the above mentioned assessment framework in more detail and refer to the issue of Molecular Robotics. His speech will conclude with an outlook on possible questions for corresponding interdisciplinary investigations on this issue.

The 2nd International Conference on Molecular Robot Ethics is organized by JST HITE projects and supported by SICE Molecular Robotics Research Group.