From the Ethics of Technology Towards an Ethics of Knowledge Policy & Knowledge Assessment

30 Pages Posted: 14 May 2014 Last revised: 20 May 2014

See all articles by Rene Von Schomberg

Rene Von Schomberg

European Commission-DG Research and Innovation

Date Written: January 1, 2007


This working document of the services of the European Commission of which Dr. Rene von Schomberg is the author, reflects upon the difficulties of developing ethical frameworks for (new) technologies in the context of an ethics of responsibility. The principle shortcomings of contemporary ethical theory with regard to the challenges of scientific and technological development are discussed. A case is made for the need of an ethics of collective co-responsibility. Such an ethics should focus on the ethics of knowledge assessment and knowledge policy in the framework of deliberative procedures, rather than on the ethics of technologies as such. Furthermore, the document tries to identify the deliberative procedures and processes in the science-society interface in which ethical issues concerning new technologies are discussed. The documents ends with a preliminary and descriptive overview of how currently the issue of nanotechnology is addressed in deliberative frameworks at the European Level.

Keywords: ethics, emerging technologies, technology assessment, knowledge assessment, deliberative democracy

JEL Classification: Q33

Suggested Citation

Von Schomberg, Rene, From the Ethics of Technology Towards an Ethics of Knowledge Policy & Knowledge Assessment (January 1, 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Rene Von Schomberg (Contact Author)

European Commission-DG Research and Innovation ( email )

Rue de la Loi 200
Brussels, B-1049


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