European ethics assessment to inspire the world

Press release from SATORI introducing the project and it’s aim, February 3rd, 2014

SATORI is a newly launched EU-funded project. SATORI aims to develop a common European framework for ethical assessment of research and innovation (R&I). R&I play an increasingly central role in the global economy and ethical assessment is a key institutional tool to ensure that R&I follow responsible pathways. Based on 45 months of thorough analyses and participatory processes engaging stakeholders and the public, the SATORI research consortium aims to consolidate and promulgate European practices of ethical assessment that can serve as an inspiration for other global powers.

SATORI stands for: “Stakeholders Acting Together On the ethical impact assessment of Research and Innovation” and will be carried out by 16 partners from 13 countries, including an intergovernmental organisation (UNESCO). The aim of SATORI is to develop a framework of common basic ethical principles and joint approaches and practices supported and shared by all the main actors involved in the design and application of ethics, principles and laws in research and innovation.  The main stakeholders include scientists, regulators, civil society, industrial actors, public bodies, research ethics committees in the Member States, relevant international bodies and other stakeholders in society, including the public.

The project comprises a series of work packages, beginning with a systematised inventory of current practices and principles in ethics assessment, a review of existing projects and the identification of stakeholders. In addition, SATORI will investigate the impact of globalization and the extent to which research is conducted outside Europe in order to profit from more flexible ethical frameworks. Furthermore, the project will outline an ethical assessment framework and create a roadmap for a fully developed framework that will include a risk-benefit analysis of ethics assessment activities. SATORI will investigate prospects for standardizing ethical frameworks and elaborate a strategy for the long-term sustainability of the framework. In addition to monitoring policy developments and other initiatives at the EU, Member State and regional levels, the partners have devised a multi-pronged communications strategy to interact with stakeholders.

”The aim of this project is to for the first time develop a European framework for the ethical assessment of scientific research and technological innovation. Right now the situation is that ethical assessment of research and innovation is increasingly important because there are major societal consequences with research and innovation whether it’s for human rights, whether it’s for the environment, whether it’s for justice, wellbeing or privacy”, explains Philip Brey, professor at the University of Twente in The Netherlands and project coordinator of SATORI. (See Philip Brey’s full SATORI-introduction here).

The project consortium will produce journal reports, newsletters and articles, in addition to presenting findings and results at conferences and workshops during the lifetime of SATORI.

Please contact:
Prof. Dr. Philip Brey, University of Twente (cont.)

T: +31-53-4894426

David Wright, Trilateral
T: +44 (0)20 7559 3550

Dr. Aleksandra Drecun, MPA
Center for the Promotion of Science (CPN)
T: + 381 11 2400-260

Jørgen Madsen, Danish Board of Technology Foundation
T: +45 30785168