International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)

TANGO: Technological Innovation: Social Science and Ethical Analyses on Governance

The TANGO project combines social science and ethical research to investigate the impact of different approaches to the governance of technological innovation. Based on this, points to consider will be developed for governance mechanisms that promote ethically and socially desirable technology research.


The research results of the TANGO project have been published as a brochure. It summarizes points to consider on technology governance for political decision-makers and other stakeholders such as research funding institutions or education. In addition, the brochure contains specific recommendations for action in the two innovation fields of autonomous driving and deepfakes.

The brochure was written by Maria Pawelec, Cora Bieß and Alexander Orlowski and was published in the series Materialien zur Ethik in den Wissenschaften.

The brochure is available here.


Funding period

January 2019 – December 2020


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)


Project description

Technology changes society. This raises questions in the context of technology development: on the one hand, the ethical question of which changes are desirable or undesirable, on the other hand the social/political question of a possible control of these technology-based changes. The TANGO project will inquire into how innovation processes affect power and social structures in democratic societies and to what extent previous governance approaches in the field of innovation policy take these processes into account. The overarching research question is: How can governance mechanisms be designed to promote ethically and socially desirable technology research and innovation? Points to Consider will be developed for this purpose. The TANGO project combines social science and ethical research in order to pose the question of existing and possible governance of technological innovation. In this context, one route of enquiry will be which systematics in relation to innovation policy underlie academic approaches in this field, such as Responsible Research and Innovation or Technology Assessment. In two case studies in fields of innovation that are regulated to different degrees, the effects of regulations of varying degrees on the design of innovation processes are examined.