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Technology Policy & Ethics – September 2016

Bringing Ethics to the Forefront of Technology R&D

An argument in favor of making it a prominent part of each new product’s life cycle

By Joe Herkert

In the fast-paced world of research and development, along with the commercialization of emerging technologies, ethical considerations are often made after the product is already on the market. That is too late, and often ethics aren’t even discussed until something goes wrong.

Instead of “ethics as usual,” I suggest what is known as anticipatory ethics, which requires the matter to be considered from the beginning of a technology’s R&D cycle.