As part of a large citizen consultation the Human Brain Project hosted five face-to-face workshops on November 25th 2017 in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Slovakia on potential dual use of HBP research and of neuroscience in general. Three additional workshop were arranged in February and March 2018 in Lithuania, Malta and United Kingdom. The purpose of the face-to-face consultations is to investigate how the public view the possible dilemmas related to dual use of neuroscience to thereby provide recommendations to the research communities, particularly the HBP researchers and managers, and to provide insights into the societal concerns, needs, and aspirations connected to their work.
In all countries the citizen consultations are day-long workshops, and prior to the consultations the citizens are provided with info material and a short intro film about HBP, neuroscience and potential dual use. During the day the citizens deliberate and reflect on each other’s concerns and opinions about issues related to potential dual use – or political, security, intelligence, or military purposes – of HBP research and of neuroscience in general. The issues discussed at the workshop include overall principles for dual use of research, and the future uses of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Brain-Computer Interfaces in the fields of medicine and neuroscience.
Outcomes of the face-to-face consultations:
The results of the face-to-face consultations will be represented in a forthcoming newsletter and the official Opinion from the Ethics & Society subproject. The data processing and analysis is still in progress, but the results are expected to be published in March 2018.
The citizen face-to-face consultation on dual use is accompanied by an online survey carried out during the autumn of 2017, which was promoted in ten European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, and Slovakia.