This is the introductory course for the Responsible Innovation minor. Technology plays an ever-increasing determining factor in our lives as individuals and society at large. New technological innovations contribute to human well-being, but they may also introduce considerable risks to humans, animals, the environment and future generations. As such, we have every reason to insist that the new technologies we develop as a society respect the values we hold dear. Various governments, companies and research funding agencies have now recognized this need for “responsible innovation.” Responsible innovation can, as a concept, be understood in a substantive and in a procedural sense. As a procedural notion, responsible innovation refers to a process of innovation that meets certain norms, like transparency, public engagement, and accountability (to stakeholders and to society). As a substantive notion, responsible innovation refers to a process of innovation that results in innovative technologies that reflect important moral values, including health, safety, human and animal welfare, sustainability, justice, inclusiveness, democracy, privacy, trust, and autonomy. In this introductory course we will learn about responsible innovation by studying these concepts and by focusing on some of the above-listed values, asking just how they can and should be implemented in our innovations. You will read, critically reflect on, and debate assigned readings. Your knowledge of these readers and your ability to implement this knowledge will be tested through an online exam, a design-exercise, a written policy brief, and two short group presentations.
After this course, students should be able to:
Identify various theoretical views regarding the nature of technology and its relation to ethical values.
Explain the meaning of the concept of responsible innovation.
Explain the meaning of the concept of value sensitive design
Think critically about whether and how values are embedded in technological innovations.
Implement the above-mentioned skills in a design-exercise and policy brief.
Give feedback and critically review work of peers.
Be able to develop a cogent written ethical argument pertaining to technological innovation in the form of a policy brief.
Be able to defend the key points developed in the policy brief in a concise and convincing presentation.
The timetable can be found in the right menu, under files ENG/ bestanden DUTCH.
This course has 8 in-class meetings that will follow the following structure:
Introduction to Responsible Innovation & Course Mechanics (lecture)
Values and Technology (Lecture & Group Debate/Discussion)
Responsible Innovation: Substantive and Procedural Notions (Lecture & Group Debate/Discussion)
Corporate Responsibility (Possible Guest Speaker)
The Responsibility of Designers and Engineers (Lecture & Group Debate/Discussion)
Designing for Values (Lecture & Group Assignment)
Responsiveness to the public (Lecture and Group Debate/Discussion)
Final Presentations (3 Hours Class)
Mode of instruction
Total course load 3 EC x 28 hours = 84 hours
Lectures: 17 hours per quarter (2 hours per week, except for the final class, which will be 3 hours)
Study of compulsory literature & assignments: 67 hours
Multiple Choice Exam, Design Exercise, Policy Brief, Presentation
Multiple Choice Exam on the material discussed in weeks 1-6 (including the MOOC lectures assigned for week 6).
This quiz will be made available through blackboard during our usual class time on Monday October 15th (20% - Individual grade).
Design Exercise: A Zoo of the Future (pitched in class) (20% - Group grade).
4 Minute Pitch (+ 500-700 word reflection, submitted as a group on the Thursday prior to the presentation. Reflection must include a reflection on the very idea of a ‘zoo of the future’; the values you believe are central to such a project; and how those values are best implemented).
Policy Brief (40% - Group grade).
Approximately 3500 words
Presentation/Pitch on the Policy Brief (20% - Group grade)
Approximately 7 minutes
The students are allowed one re-sit per examination. It is not allowed to re-sit an examination or assignment for which they have received a pass (6,0 or higher). It is allowed to re-sit an examination or assignment which they haven't done during the first occasion. The re-sit format needs to be discussed with the teacher of the course in line with examination regulations.
In case the student is granted an extra re-sit by the Board of Examiners, this re-sit has to take place within study year 2018-2019. This means the students have to complete the minor within one study year.
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
In this course, Blackboard is used to present course information, notify of changes to the course and to make course materials available. Students can access Blackboard with their Leiden University (guest) accounts.
This list is still tentative and subject to change:
René Descartes, Discourse on Method (Brief Excerpt)
Jean Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality (Brief Excerpt)
Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia (Brief Excerpt)
Verso, London/New York, 2005
Joseph C. Pitt “Guns Don’t Kill, People Kill”; Values in and/or Around Technologies”
Langdon Winner “Do Artifacts have Politics?”
Alvin Weinberg, “Can Technology Replace Social Engineering,” 1966 The University of Chicago Magazine.
Jeroen van der Hoven “Value sensitive design and responsible innovation.”
J. Stilgoe, R. Owen, & P. Macnaghten, P. “Developing a framework for responsible innovation.”
Batya Friedman, Peter H Kahn, Jr and Alan Boring, “Value Sensitive Design and Information Systems.”
Sabine Roeser, “Moral Emotions as Guide to Acceptable Risk”
Students need to register for the minor at their home university and in uSis Leiden, and for each individual course in uSis Leiden.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs