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The Landscape and Isobars of European Values in Relation to Science and New Technology (Value Isobars)
Start date: 01 Jun 2009, End date: 30 Nov 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The goal of this project is to provide the blueprints for a value-based and value-informed new and flexible governance of the science-society relation in Europe. Furthermore, the study shall identify necessary research tasks in order to move from a generic understanding of value-based and value-informed governance to more specific mechanisms of governance that improve current practice. Emerging biotechnologies with dual use problematic and security technologies (biometrics) shall serve as pilots to test the validity of the framework. The key research challenges are: understanding the very concept of social/ethical values, improving the methodology for the study of values, identifying innovative mechanisms of platforms for value-based dialogue in civil society and citizen consultation, and assessing the potential of legal and regulatory instruments, including soft-law, to provide value-oriented framework orientation for scientific and technological development. Two specific technologies will be analyzed in these respects closely: biotechnology dealing with pathogens with a pandemic potential (biosafety and biosecurity issue), and biometrics as a security technology. The project shall result in a multi-disciplinary report that summarizes existing knowledge on social values and their relevance for attitudes to science and technology, and that furthermore sketches the blueprint of a more coherent, flexible and dynamic conception of a value-based governance of science and technology. The report is aimed at policy makers and researchers concerned about ethical issues in current or upcoming scientific and technological developments and policies. An additional report shall suggest and specify more concrete research topics within “Science in Society” and FP7 generally. Specific attention shall be given to dual-use problematic and security technologies. Feedback on the draft of the report shall be sought through an interactive website and a selected group of European experts.
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