Code of Ethics for Real-World Labs
Prof. Dr. Dr. Rafaela Hillerbrand
Dr. phil. Elisabeth Does
Dr. Oliver Parodi
Dr. Andreas Seebacher
Dr. Marc Dusseldorp
Codes of ethics and ethical guidelines are intended to govern scientific practice in research and teaching on various levels – on a general level (e.g the DFG Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice), for individual disciplines (e.g. the Ethical Principles of the Engineering Profession of the VDI), or in relation to specific types of research (e.g. Nuremberg Code for Human Experimentation).
New research formats require new guidelines and codes. This includes real-world labs: transdisciplinary research and development institutions designed to contribute to societal transformation towards sustainability. Since their inception about ten years ago, these labs have grown considerably in importance and are now among the most prominent transformative approaches at the interface of science, civil society, and business. Real-world lab research differs from traditional research formats due to its participatory and transformative nature, which raises different ethical questions for those involved in this research.
Specifying these questions explicitly and identifying approaches for addressing them is the object of the project "Code of Ethics for Real-World Labs", which is being carried out through close collaboration between ARRTI and the Karlsruhe Transformation Centre for Sustainability and Cultural Change (KAT). The project work is based on KAT's many years of experience as a pioneer in real-world lab development. This allows us to take a practical approach to considering the ethical implications of lab work without neglecting philosophical-ethical reflection. The aim of the project is to develop a code of ethics for real-world labs – starting with an internal KIT draft, which will then be presented for discussion and participatory development in the Real-Labs of Sustainability Network and finally among an international audience.