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Institutionen för informationsteknologi

Ethics of Technology and Science

This is the optional part, of spring 2019.
The optional part focuses on theory and practice on technology and natural science ethics.

Start date: 12th of Nov 2020 All education will be on Zoom, links will be provided.
ECTS credits: 3
Course period: 2020 - 2021
Maximum number of participants: 30

Target group/s and recommended background: PhD students from all the disciplines of TekNat.

Contact person: Iordanis Kavathatzopoulos
Administartor: Anders Persson

Course literature:

1. Ethics in engineering ("Etik för ingenjörer"), by Thomas Taro Lennerfors, Studentliteratur 2019
2. Papers and links.

Aim of course

Development and use of modern technology, for example IT, industrial applications, social media and biotechnology, affect people, organizations and society. Modern technology offer new possibilities and therefore causes new ethical issues. The way these issues are handled determines the effectiveness and usability of technology. There is a big risk that necessary and expensive technical systems may be abandoned or used sub-optimally because of ethical conflicts. People and organizations may be hurt when they doubt or refuse to adopt a certain technology. Considering ethical aspects significant to efficiency and effectiveness of technology demands personal skills, suitable cooperation and coordination processes, and access to ethical tools and methods. This has to be done early in the development process of technological systems as well as during installation and ordinary running of the systems. The course will offer knowledge in the areas of technology ethics and psychology ethics. Participants will train their ability to apply tools and methods in handling moral issues connected to project planning, project application, technology construction, implementation and use. Focus will be on methods and practical skills for people working with modern technologies.

Contents, study format and form of examination

This, the second optional course of 3 credit points, expands to philosophical theory, technology and natural science ethics, and to application of different methods to handle professional ethical issues.

The course consists of lectures, seminars, group discussions and group work with focus on technology ethics, application and evaluation of special tools during development, deployment and running of technology systems. And treatment of real-life technology ethical conflicts and problems to exercise ethical competence.


Time Subject Presenter Literature, links, etc.
12 Nov, 10.15-12.00, https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/8394513146 Ethical Theory Thomas Lennerfors See Instructions below.
19 Nov, 10.15-12.00 https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/66457644276 Ethical skills, philosophy and psychology Iordanis Slides; Platon's Apology of Socrates, Platon's Protagoras. Each student submits a commentary (one page/500 words) on both texts, and makes an oral presentation during the lecture (5 minutes). Join Zoom Meeting https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/66457644276; Marvin, Emil, Narayan Apology, Narayan Protagoras, Johannes, Fredrik, Fernand
25 Nov, 10.15-12.00, https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/8394513146 Ethical Theory Thomas Lennerfors See Instructions below.
3 Dec, 10.15-12.00 https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69483926174 Ethical methods and tools, ethical vetting, workshop Iordanis Slides
10 Dec, 10.15-12.00, https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/8394513146 Ethical Theory Thomas Lennerfors See Instructions below.
17 Dec, 10.15-12.00 https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/64780614695 Presentation of group projects Group seminar, IK Presentations/Reviews: To be uploaded; Group 3 Slides Group 3 Review

The Three Ethical Theory Session

In the three Ethical Theory seminars, we will go through the book Ethics in Engineering (written by Thomas Taro Lennerfors, Studentlitteratur 2019), chapter by chapter. All participants in the course read all chapters, but each participant is responsible for presenting a 5 minute reflection (perhaps with slides) relating to one specific chapter in the book. The reflection can be about the general content of your assigned chapter, or it can be about an aspect/concept/theory/idea of the chapter that you want to reflect upon. You need to relate your presentation/reflection to the theoretical content and arguments in the chapter, but you are encouraged to read and draw on other books/articles/examples as well to go beyond, critique, and problematize the chapter.

12 Nov: Chapters 1-5. Introduction, Awareness and Responsibility.

25 Nov: Chapters 6-9. Critical thinking, Consequentialism, deontology and virtue ethics.

10 Dec: Chapters 10-14. Freedom, Relations, Justice, Environmental ethics, and Action.

It is possible to purchase the book at www.studentlitteratur.se (https://www.studentlitteratur.se/#9789144127682/Ethics+in+Engineering), and online bookstores such as Bokus and Adlibris, but it is also available in libraries - there are some copies in the Ångström Library. To find all library copies in Sweden, check this link: http://libris.kb.se/bib/lv8qb090j595sk10

We will make a doodle or figure out who can be present each session to present a chapter.

Groups and Participants

Group 1

Emil Svensson emil.svensson@angstrom.uu.se
Samer Quintana Samer.Quintana@angstrom.uu.se

Group 2

Johannes Hjalmarsson johannes.hjalmarsson@angstrom.uu.se
Fernand Denoel fernand.denoel@angstrom.uu.se

Group 3

Fredrik Gustafsson fredrik.gustafsson@it.uu.se
Marvin Schliemann marvin.schliemann@angstrom.uu.se
Narayan Prasad Parajuli narayan.parajuli@icm.uu.se

Group projects

For the seminar:

  • Describe a research project, no more than 300 words
  • Fill in the application for ethical vetting, https://etikprovningsmyndigheten.se/for-forskare/sa-gar-det-till/
  • Do not send in the application in the system, but download a pdf of the draft
  • Send both the description and the pdf of your vetting draft to the teachers and all participants (1 from each group)
  • Deadline to send: 2 working-days before seminar
  • At the seminar make a 10-minute presentation using a corresponding number of slides
  • The slides have to be uploaded before the seminar. Upload them yourself or if you cannot do this e-mail them to ((.
  • Review the other group's application: gr 1 reviews gr 2, gr 2 reviews gr 3, and gr 3 reviews gr 1
  • Make a decision to the vetting, and a presentation of your review of the other group's application, for no more than 10 min
  • Present and discuss your review at the seminar, 30 min total per group including discussion

Use the Autonomy Method tool to support your thinking when you fill in the application, when you review it, and when you discuss it. Refer to VR's code of ethics Good research practice.


Write an essay about a theme you choose, for example from your own professional life. Discuss how it connects to theories of ethics and how it can be analyzed and resolved. It is important to cover all aspects, positive and negative, strengths and weaknesses, but most important is to reflect upon the way you think to handle the issue.
Min 2 000 words, max 5 000 words.
Your essays will not be uploaded.


Active and mandatory participation in the lectures, group work and group seminars. Individual essay.
Send your essay as pdf to: Anders Urkund

Deadline: 17th of Jan, 2021


Please evaluate the course. Link: Evaluation

Uppdaterad  2020-12-17 10:13:45 av Iordanis Kavathatzopoulos.