Research and Ethics - towards a structured approach for discussing ELSI problems

Scientific research projects can generate knowledge gains and technological advances that can often be applied beneficially in business, politics, civil society and organizations. However, both the research process and the application of research results regularly raise so-called "ethical, legal, and social issues" (ELSI). Technological applications can, for example, raise privacy issues, fundamentally alter social interaction, create social inequalities, or lead to unintended side effects that raise questions about liability. For this reason, funders regularly require researchers to recognize ELSI-related problems early on and identify potential concerns so that they can be critically reflected upon and addressed in the best possible way. In the project "Research and Ethics - towards a structured approach for discussing ELSI problems", a framework will be developed in order to help researchers to practically meet the requirements of ELSI problems in everyday research. In particular, the project will analyze which questions are raised when deciding on the content and objectives of research projects, which complexes of problems potentially need to be thought through during implementation, and how to deal with the knowledge gained after results have been obtained.