University of Twente | Prof. P.A.E. Brey

Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies

On 20 September 2019, the project “Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies” has been selected as one of the six winning proposals for the Gravitation programme 2018/2019 by the Minister of Education, Culture, and Science. The minister has made €17.9 million available for this ten-year project.

Emerging socially disruptive technologies (SDTs) such as robots, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and climate technology pose social and ethical challenges. Philosophical research programmes are developing new ways of addressing these. SDTs will change society, culture, and everyday life, and challenge some of our most foundational concepts and values. The consortium will innovate technology ethics in order to critically evaluate and guide the development and introduction of these technologies.

Uitreiking Zwaartekrachtpremie 2019


  • P.A.E. Brey for the coordinating organisation, the University of Twente


  • University of Twente (UT)
  • Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
  • Utrecht University (UU)
  • Eindhoven University of Technology (TU Eindhoven)
  • Wageningen University & Research
  • Leiden University
  • UMC Utrecht


  • Prof. I.R. van de Poel (TU Delft)
  • Prof. I.A.M. Robeyns (UU)
  • Prof. S. Roeser (TU Delft)
  • Prof. P.P.C.C. Verbeek (UT)
  • Prof. W.A. IJsselsteijn (TU Eindhoven)


The Gravitation programme brings together researchers from one or more disciplines in consortia to carry out excellent, innovative research. The consortia are or have the potential to become world leaders in their field of research. A consortium is a partnership between researchers and may comprise Dutch research schools, but can also bring together influential researchers and research groups. In order to receive funding, researchers must be connected to one of the knowledge institutions mentioned in the call.

With the Gravitation programme, the government wants to stimulate research carried out by consortia  in the Netherlands. The researchers must carry out innovative and influential research in their field of expertise. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has asked NWO to carry out the selection procedure for this programme.

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