Lise Bitsch, Danish Board of Technology Foundation (DBT)

Ms. Lise BITSCH, Ph.D., senior project manager at the Danish Board of Technology Foundation (DBT). She has PhD and post-doc level research experience with social and ethical issues of techno-scientific innovations in relation to genomics, and the biobased economy. Her experience covers conceptualization and execution of responsible research and innovation (RRI), particularly ethics and multi stakeholder engagement, international and national citizen conventions, from working in several other EU projects e.g. FP7 RRI Tools, ASSET and the EU flagship Human Brain Project

By Jørgen Madsen, DBT

Lise coordinates the work of the DBT in SATORI, particularly focusing on Work Package 5: Risk-benefit analysis of ethics assessment activities and Work Package 8: Heritage, Strategy for sustainability of the SATORI network. Furthermore, she is heavily involved in WP10: Communication, developing communications materials, press releases and feature stories.

As an important part of the SATORI research and background Lise was responsible for the US case study on ethics assessment contributing to WP 1: Comparative analysis of ethics assessment practices.

What are the perspectives for the outcome of SATORI in your opinion?

I think SATORI is a very ambitious project. SATORI is unique in its ambition to analyse and compare practices of ethics impact assessment across countries, global regions, disciplines and across groups of stakeholders, from industry to NGOs. A broad comparison on this scale has never been done before. Hopefully our effort will help us in an approach to ethics, where ethics becomes seen as much more than just ‘check list’, or ‘an obstacle’; instead ethics should lead to mutual learning about values and obligations for mutual mobilization of these values in better innovation processes and products. I hope the framework we are developing will contribute to that end.

Which parts of the project do you find the most challenging so far?

The comparative analysis was a difficult task to solve. It was a huge task, with many moving parts, and many contributions from a diverse set off partners. However, I think it was worth it, and people have already showed interest in our results. At the moment we are facing the intricate challenge of developing a methodology for cost-effectiveness and risk-benefit analysis of ethics assessment. We are entering virgin territory here, since cost-effectiveness -and risk-benefit analysis are not normally applied to, or talked about, in relation to ethics assessment procedures. It is almost an alien thought that ethics assessment could carry with it risk or harms – at least from the viewpoint of assessors, but engineers might feel differently – the question is what is the balance to be struck, and how can we find out?

How do you like being part of such a big and long running project?

It has its ups and downs as every project and collaboration. The hard part is the distance between planning and starting the project, and then the time when you will have your result. Naturally, it is also challenging to work together with many different colleagues over long distances. It takes time to get to know each other. However, the multiplicity in partners, background and culture is also the beauty of project such as this. I get the gift of working together with gifted colleagues and partners from all over Europe.

When and how will you expect SATORI results to become visible in EU-daily life?

Soon – I expect. The outline of the SATORI framework seems promising, and I think it can contribute to the future EU-basis for ethical assessment of research and innovation. We might even be able to spot a little of SATORI in future H2020 calls.