The development and introduction of a new technology to society can be viewed as an experimental process, full of uncertainties, which are only gradually reduced as the technology is employed. Unexpected developments may trigger an experimental process in which society must find new ways to deal with the uncertainties posed.
This book explores how the experimental perspective determines what ethical issues new technologies raise and how it helps morally evaluate their introduction. Expert contributors highlight the uncertainties that accompany the process, identify the social and ethical challenges they give rise to, and propose strategies to manage them.
Focusing on the introduction of new technologies and experimentation as ways to perceive new developments and changing contexts, a key theme of the book is how to approach the moral issues raised by new technology and understand the role of experimentation in exploring these matters.
Ibo van de Poel, Donna Mehos, and Lotte Asveld, editors
Chapter 1: Control in Scientific and Practical Experiments
Chapter 2: The Diversity of Experimentation in the Experimenting Society
Christopher Ansell and Martin Bartenberger
Chapter 3 Moral Experimentation with New Technology
Ibo van de Poel
Chapter 4 The Theatrical Debate: Experimenting with Technologies on Stage
Chapter 5 Social Learning in the Bioeconomy: The Ecover Case
Lotte Asveld and Dirk Stemerding
Chapter 6 Cognitive Enhancement: A Social Experiment With Technology
Nicole A Vincent and Emma A. Jane
Chapter 7 Living a Real-World Experiment: Post-Fukushima Imaginaries and Spatial Practices of "Containing the Nuclear"
Chapter 8 "Dormant Parasites": Testing beyond the Laboratory in Uganda’s Malaria Control Program
Chapter 9 Experimenting with ICT Technologies in Youth Care: Jeugdzorg in the Netherlands
Ben Kokkeler and Bertil Brandse
Chapter 10 Adversarial Risks in Social Experiments with New Technologies
Wolter Pieters and Francien Duschesne
"Technologies released into the public domain are expected to be safe and reliable. Experiments, by definition, are ventures into the unknown. How thus can technologies in society be responsibly conceptualized as social experiments? New Perspectives on Technology in Society is a major step to help discerning ethical issues and possibilities of moral learning during the experimental introduction of new technologies into society. The contributions in this excellent volume show on how carefully planned social experiments can denote processes in which ignorance and surprise are creatively used for deliberate and systematic learning. Given the unavoidable character of the experimental nature of novel technologies in the 21st century (from self-driving cars to synthetic biology or new medical tests) the studies in this volume could not be timelier." - Matthias Gross, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research and University of Jena, Germany