4TU Centre for Ethics and Technology

Organization founded in 2007. 4TU.Ethics envisions a world in which technology is developed and used for benefit of humanity and the preservation of our planet. It is a world in which ethical considerations concerning human rights, well-being, global and inter-generational justice, the social good etc. are systematically included in practices of technology and engineering.

4TU.Ethics brings together the expertise of the three philosophy departments in the field of ethics of science, technology and engineering. The mission of 4TU.Ethics is:

  1. To stimulate and undertake interdisciplinary and applied research in the field of ethics and technology and fundamental research in ethics relevant for the field of ethics and technology;
  2. To stimulate and undertake activities in the field of teaching in ethics and technology;
  3. To act as an intermediary between the philosophy departments involved in 4TU.Ethics and the various stakeholders involved in ethical issues concerning technology: engineering practitioners, policy makers, and the general public.

PhD and Master Programmes in Ethics and Technology

The 4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology offers a graduate programme in Ethics and Technology leading to a MSc (namely the Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society (PSTS) degree at the University of Twente) or a Ph.D. degree in the area of ethics and technology at any one of the 4 members universities. In our graduate programme ethics as a humanities subject is linked with technology as a subject of the engineering sciences. The aim of the programme is to study ethical issues in the development, use and regulation of technology, in close collaboration with the engineering sciences, and to a lesser extent the social sciences. The programme is predicated on an increasing need for responsible innovation in society, and a growing demand for graduates in the field of ethics and technology.

The 4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology (4TU.Ethics) was founded in 2007 by the board of the federation of the three technical universities in the Netherlands (Delft, Eindhoven, and Twente) (www.4tu.nl) to study ethical issues in the development, use and regulation of techno­logy. The board was motivated by the excellent performance of the philosophical research programmes of these three universities in the 1999-2004 research assessment. It is a clear sign of the importance attached by the 4TU.federation to addressing ethical issues related to technology, and of the confidence the federation board has in these research groups, that among the six Centres of Excellence of the 4TU.Federation, 4TU.Ethics is the only non-technical centre. Currently, the Centre has over sixty senior and junior researchers as members, which makes 4TU.Ethics worldwide the major research centre addressing societally relevant and philosophically challenging issues at the interface between ethics and technology.