Engineering Responsibility

Engineering Responsibility

In contemporary techno-societies responsibility has risen high on the agenda. With the increasing need to adapt to implications of our own technological heritage, responsibility gains importance across all areas of research and technology. ‘Responsible Research and Innovation’ as currently debated on EU-level, is a clear indicator that we need to find ways to collectively anticipate and reflect on the consequences of developments in research and technology, such as material ‘by-products’.

Along the lines of the MCTS-principles (empirical, interdisciplinary, reflexive and dialogic) the Post/Doc Lab ‘Engineering Responsibility’ operates closely at the level of technological practices when dealing with responsibilities for technological developments of the past and the future. This means to address (1) the societal responsibilities of techno-sciences, which increasingly get involved in diverse realms of policy, economy and the public. This also means (2) to deal with the ways in which we are ‘engineering’ responsibility in terms of forms and formats in which we can negotiate, accept and distribute responsibility for diverse kinds of technological challenges.

We wish to challenge the prevalent orientation towards futures and also raise sensitivity for what (supposedly) lies in the past. This is achieved by re-centering the often disregarded remains and infrastructures of technologized societies – be it plastics as a material and hazardous substance, satellite infrastructures, or production plants. Moreover, the project aims to keep in mind elusive phenomena like data, noise and cultural practices of repair.