Guest lecture Jim Dratwa at KU Leuven: New health technologies in the Open Beta Society and the search for a new ethics

On October 10 Jim Dratwa (Head of The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies) will give a lecture entitled ‘What world do we want to live in together? New health technologies in the Open Beta Society and the search for a new ethics



From precision/personalised/stratified medicine to genome editing to mHealth, the ‘participatory turn’ in health offers new roles to citizens, be it as experimenters or experimentees, stakeholders, data providers, or prosumers. On the one hand, an ever-wider public participates in the production of knowledge and innovation. On the other hand, in stark contrast to ideals of open science and data commons, new power asymmetries and digital divides (in relation to data access, infrastructures, types of expertise) are emerging alongside large private actors and reshaping even the research agenda. The defining feature to unpack at the heart of our Open Beta Society is the ambiguity bringing together empowerment and exploitation. Associated key transformations lie in several areas of tension: notions of health and illness; notions of the body, the self and otherness; legitimacy, trust and the doctor-patient relationship; individual vs collective; national vs European/international; public vs private; distribution, access and inequality; science, expertise and citizenship. They have pressing implications for notions of human dignity, solidarity and justice. What ethics is required, if any, in the digital and genetic age? How to understand and reinvest with meaning the perplexing European adventure, past and present, in that regard? Between public debate, citizen science and democratic deficit, in sum, how to build the world in which we want to live in together?


Practical info:

–          10 October 2017; 14h00 – 16h00

–          Room AV 91.21 (Faculty of Social Sciences, Parkstraat 45, Leuven –

Details about the guest lecture can be found on our website (

All welcome, please register by sending a mail to Annet Wauters:

Author: B.STS

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