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Reaching out

Participative Projects and Ethical Discourse on Neurotechnology


Developing intricate clinical applications to enable the bi-directional communication between the brain and technical devices is the main goal of BrainLinks-BrainTools. This goal raises far-reaching ethical and societal questions concerning personal identity and “transforming” human nature. This necessitates that we enter into a dialogue with the public about the work we pursue. Therefore, we want to implement forms of participatory exchange on different levels. We want to communicate with a wide range of target audiences about the initiative’s scientific findings and also about current and future applications of neurotechnologies. 

We want to foster public engagement, exploring and implementing new ways of dialogue and exchange about the work of BrainLinks-BrainTools. On the basis of established structures, experiences, and accomplishments, we want to create new forums for scientists, artists, students and the general public, where social and ethical issues of our research can be addressed. These aims will be pursued by means of an elaborated three-year programme of different activities and events.

Furthermore, the project aims to integrate the exchange with patient groups, and to provide training in public outreach for its members. It will furthermore contribute insights about the public perception of neurotechnologies to the Ethics Board of BrainLinks-BrainTools, including the hopes and anxieties that are expressed.

Central activities are a dance project in cooperation with the Freiburg Theatre and schools in Freiburg, an interactive art installation by Hannah Hurtzig, an artist-in-residence programme, several film programmes, including discussion panels, and, not least, recurring “Cafés Scientifiques” and contributions to the yearly Science Days in Rust and the Science Fair in Freiburg (scheduled every two years). Our envisaged project will complement the cluster’s tried and tested avenues of public outreach, endowing BrainLinks-BrainTools’ communication portfolio with novel approaches and an explorative edge.


Zahlen & Fakten


Laufzeit: 2013 – 2016

Förderung durch: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Leitung: PD Dr. Oliver Müller 

Bearbeiterin: Franziska Krause, M.A. 

Zusammenarbeit mit: 
Gunnar Grah • Bernstein Center Freiburg / Institut für Informatik, Technische Fakultät
Ad Aertsen • Bernstein Center Freiburg / Institut für Biologie III, Fakultät für Biologie
Ulrich Egert • Bernstein Center Freiburg / Institut für Mikrosystemtechnik, Technische Fakultät

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Universtität Freiburg

Institut für Ethik und Geschichte der Medizin

Stefan-Meier-Str. 26
D-79104 Freiburg

Tel.: +49 (0)761/203-5033
Fax: +49 (0)761/203-5039
E-Mail: Sekretariat

Öffnungszeiten Sekretariat:
Mo-Fr, 9:00-12:30 Uhr




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