The group has built up core expertise in research ethics and responsible research and innovation through its work at the intersection between digital technologies and people. We believe that at times when digital technologies reach into every aspect of modern life, it is key to critically reflect on the ethical and moral basis by which our research is guided. In line with the leitmotiv of TU Wien - Technik für Menschen - we seek to raise awareness amongst technologists for the social impacts of their work and their responsibilities towards society.

Here we have put together a few ethics resources that we use in classes as well as our research projects:

Why it Matters

All research impacts in one way or another on people, whether they are participants in a study, users of a system or simply on ourselves as the ones who conduct the work. Ethics is concerned about the wellbeing of these people and society as a whole. Ethical issues can range from protecting the privacy of participants to considering the psychological harm for researchers or critically reflecting on possible unintended uses of research results by others.

Generally, there are two aspects of ethics which increasingly get intertwined:

These pages address primarily the area of Research Ethics, but also aim to open a discourse and raise awareness about doing Responsible Science.

Ethics matters not only in an ideological way, but also in very practical terms. Increasingly international and national funding bodies require researchers to demonstrate that they are aware of ethical issues relevant to their work and how they safeguard and protect their participants and potential future users.

Also, professional and scientific communities are becoming more alert to how scientific results are obtained and used, and many representational bodies, like the ACM or the IEEE, have published codes of ethical conduct. Conferences and Journals also increasingly require authors to disclose their ethics processes and it has become common to reject manuscripts on the basis of poor research ethics.

To get research funded and published, a pro-active engagement with ethics is becoming mandatory.