We live in a digital society that is in constant transformation. Shaping such a society requires asking questions about its underlying values and norms. The Ethics Centre’s research focus on Media Ethics and Information Technology within the department of Society, Culture and Technological Change addresses these value questions. It conducts research on the ethics of a digital society from an interdisciplinary perspective, incorporating insights from both Information Ethics and Media Ethics.
The research focus developed out of a Junior Research Group Media Ethics in an Interdisciplinary Perspective – Values and Social Cohesion in New Public Spaces (2013–2017) which was funded by the Excellence Initiative of the University of Tübingen. The Junior Research Group focused on the impact of digitalisation on the creation of new public spheres. It investigated how new forms of public communication shape societal values and norms. Thereby, it explored the meaning, significance and foundation of the concepts of solidarity and social cohesion in Media Ethics.
Core philosophical concepts concerning the ethics of a digital society examined within the research focus include data privacy, questions of global informational justice and development, and journalism ethics. Topics of investigation include the ethical and societal implications of surveillance technologies, of applications in the areas of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, as well as of the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) such as social media. Further topics include learning with the help of digital media and growing up in a digital society, the internet and mental health, the export of information technologies and the global digital divide.
- ELISA: Ethical Implications of ICT Export to sub-Saharan Africa
- KoBeLU: Contextually Aware Learning Environment for Education and Further Training, subproject: Ethical Reflection and Assessment
- Forum Privacy: Forum Privacy and Self-Determination in a Digital World
- Plattform Lernende Systeme: Germany’s Platform for Artificial Intelligence of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
- Participation in the organisation of the joint Annual Conference of the Network Media Ethics and of the division “Media Ethics” of the German Communication Association (DGPuK)
- Organisation of the international conference “Digitalisation in Africa: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Technology, Development, and Justice”, 26 and 27 September 2018, Tübingen
- A list of completed projects can be found in the archive section.
- Hagendorff, Thilo (2017) Das Ende der Informationskontrolle. Zur Nutzung digitaler Medien jenseits von Privatheit und Datenschutz, Bielefeld: Transcript.
- Baur-Ahrens, Andreas (2017) ‘The power of cyberspace centralisation: analysing the example of data territorialisation’, in: Matthias Leese and Stef Wittendorp (eds) Security/Mobility. Politics of Movement, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 37–56.
- Heesen, Jessica (ed.) (2016) Handbuch Informations- und Medienethik, Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler.
- Heesen, Jessica (2016) ‘Big data for a fairer democracy?’, in: International Review for Information Ethics (IRIE) 25(5), 15–21.
- Heesen, Jessica (2012) ‘Computer and Information Ethics’, in: Ruth Chadwick (ed.): Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, 2nd ed., Vol. 1, San Diego: Academic Press, 538–546.