Ethical reflection on appropriate goals and means of scientific research is given an increasingly prominent role in the German and European research landscape. The Technische Universität Berlin is aware of its social responsibility as a renowned research institution. Therefore, the Executive Board of TU Berlin has decided to establish a Commission for Ethics in Research. This commission was constituted in February 2021.
The Commission for Ethics in Research advises the Presidential Board and will not issue regular ethics votes on research and publication applications by scientists at TU Berlin. For this purpose, decentralized ethics committees have been and will be established in the faculties. In a first step, the comission has drafted ethical guidelines for research at the Technische Universität Berlin, which are to be binding for the entire TU Berlin.
In individual cases, the committee may also be called upon to advise on critical projects, for example with regard to dual-use issues, to ensure compliance with the TU Berlin's civil clause, or to evaluate general ethical issues.
Other issues on which the commission can be approached:
The chairpersons of the decentralized ethics committees of the TU Berlin are entitled to submit applications to the commission in addition to the members of the Presidential Board and the committee members. Further details are regulated by the bylaws.
|Prof. Dr. Regina Ammicht Quinn||Universität Tübingen – Spokeswoman of the International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW) and Head of the Department of Society, Culture and Technological Change|
|Prof. Dr. Birgit Beck||Faculty I – Chair of Ethics and Philosophy of Technology (Chairman of the commission)|
|Prof. Dr. Martin Grötschel||Former president of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), the Einstein Foundation Berlin and the Zuse-Institute Berlin|
|Prof. Dr. Jens Kurreck||Faculty III – Chair of Applied Biochemistry (Vice chairman of the commission)|
|Prof. Dr. Stefanie Schüler-Springorum||Faculty I – Director of the Center for Research on Antisemitism|
|Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christine Ahrend||Faculty V – Chair of Integrated Transport Planning|
|Dr. phil. Irina Schwab||Head of the University Archives|
|Annette Hiller||Head of the Section on Matters of Academic Self-Administration and Head of the data protection team|
|Prof. Dr. Gabriele Steidl||Ombudsperson|
|Prof. Dr. Jens Kurreck||Ombudsperson|
|Annette Hiller||Head of Section on Matters of Academic Self-Administration and Head of the data protection team|
|Marianne Walther von Loebenstein||Chief Safety Engineer/Environmental Officer|
|Ali Agool, Dr. Dagmar Dransfeld||Company doctor|
The Joint Committee on the Handling of Security-Relevant Research is a body established by the DFG and the Leopoldina to sustainably strengthen awareness of the dual usability of research results and the responsible handling of security-relevant research, as well as the self-regulation of science in this regard.
The main task of the decentralized ethics committees, which review the ethical soundness of research proposals and publication submissions on a professional level, is to issue corresponding ethics votes. These ethics committees act as Approval Committees (Research Ethics Committees - RECs), i.e. regularly working committees that evaluate a growing number of applications (e.g. third-party funding applications, publication submissions, etc.). The members of the decentralized ethics committees come for the most part from the respective disciplines for which they review the applications and must have acquired expertise through appropriate training events or tutorials.
If a decentralized ethics committee is unable to conclusively evaluate a complex application despite intensive consideration, the chairperson can request advice from the commission for resaerch and ethics.