• 28 SEP 05
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    Conference notice: Ethical Aspects of Risk

    Conference
    Ethical Aspects of Risk

    14-16 June 2006
    Philosophy Department, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

    Keynote speakers:

    Ruth Chadwick
    University of Lancaster

    Douglas MacLean
    University of North Carolina

    Kristin Shrader-Frechette
    University of Notre Dame

    Paul Slovic
    Decision Research, Oregon

    Technology has advanced human well being in a myriad of respects, such as energy, communication and abilities to travel. Still, every technology also has negative side-effects, such as risks from accidents and pollution. A standard way to judge the acceptability of a specific technology is cost-benefit analysis. However, next to the balance between the benefits and risks of a technology the following considerations seem to be important: the distribution of costs and benefits, whether a risk is voluntarily taken, whether there are available alternatives etc. How to judge whether a risk is acceptable is a pressing ethical question that deserves thorough investigation. There is a vast amount of sociological and psychological research on acceptable risks, but surprisingly, there is only very little research from moral philosophy on risks. This conference aims to fill this gap by bringing together moral philosophers, sociologists, psychologists and engineers to reflect on the ethical issues concerning ‘acceptable risk’.
    The following questions will be the focus of the conference:
    – What are morally legitimate considerations in judging the acceptability of risks? Is cost-benefit analysis the best way or do we need additional considerations?
    – What role should emotions play in judging the acceptability of risks? Are they irrational and distorting or are they a necessary precondition for practically rational judgments?
    – What role should the public play in judging the acceptability of risks (e.g. informed consent procedures analogous to medical ethics)?
    – Is the precautionary principle a fruitful tool in dealing with risks?

    Call for papers: abstracts due by December 1st 2005

    Submit an abstract of ca 750 words with information about academic affiliation to ethicsrisk@tbm.tudelft.nl

    For inquiries, contact the organization committee through ethicsrisk@tbm.tudelft.nl

    Organization: Sabine Roeser and Lotte Asveld (Philosophy Department, Delft University of Technology); conference management: Henneke Piekhaar

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