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1st international ethics assessment pre-standard for R&I - The SATORI CEN Workshop Agreement

Uploaded by RRI Tools on 17 September 2017

The SATORI project

The first international pre-standard, a CEN Workshop Agreement, addressing the role and procedures of the ethics committee and ethical impact assessment of research and innovation.

The CEN Workshop Agreement document includes perspectives from many EU countries, and several non-EU countries, i.e., US and China. The document is endorsed by EUREC, the European Network of Research Ethics Committees.

Why are ethics assessment standards important?

Taking into account the complexity of scientific research and impact of emerging technologies on life, it is of tremendous importance that scientific research and technology development is conducted in accordance with high ethical standards. Standards help us produce and introduce new technologies to the market, and at the same time help us properly assess their impact on environment and society.

The SATORI CEN Workshop Agreement has the following unique features:

  • It is the first international standard document for ethics committees and ethical impact assessment of research and innovation;
  • It is based on an extensive study of hundreds of existing guidelines, studies on ethics assessment and ethics committees, interviews and feedback from hundreds of stakeholders;
  • It is comprehensive standard covering all fields, with special coverage of social sciences and humanities, natural sciences, engineering sciences, medical and life sciences, and computer and information sciences;
  • It includes ethics assessment guidelines for research and technological innovation;
  • It addresses procedures and guidelines for the establishment and composition of ethics committees, and their daily operations;
  • It addresses quality assurance in ethics assessment;
  • It contains a clear methodology for assessing the ethical impacts of research and technology development;
  • It can be made compatible with, and adapted to different value systems and cultural contexts;
  • It is applicable to different organisational contexts, including universities, medical hospitals, research funding organisations, industry etc.

The SATORI CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA 17145) consists of two parts.

  • Part 1, “Ethics Committee” contains core recommendations on ethics assessment and the role, composition and operations of ethics committees. 
  • Part 2 contains an ethical impact assessment framework, which is a novel approach for anticipating and ethically assessing social and environmental consequences of research and innovation that combines ethics assessment, impact assessment and technology assessment.

This European CWA is the result of extensive investigations and broad consultation and mutual learning processes with hundreds of stakeholders. 

CWA 17145 has a validity of 3 years. After three years, the document is reviewed for usefulness. When you download the documents please leave your name and contact details so we can follow up on the relevance of the document to you and collect data on how it could be improved. You are also invited to share your experiences and provide us with feedback on the use of the documents. 

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