Published March 8, 2021 | Version v1
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Opinion on 'Responsible Dual Use' Political, Security, Intelligence and Military Research of Concern in Neuroscience and Neurotechnology


Abstract:  Current and newly emerging insights and technologies arising from research in brain sciences increase capabilities to access, assess and affect thought, emotion and behaviour. While much of this research and development is directed towards clinical use, it also has applications in other settings, notably in the political, security, intelligence and military (PSIM) domains. This is often referred to in terms of ‘Dual Use’. Many of these potential uses raise important social and ethical questions which demand the attention of all those involved in the research, administration, management and regulation of neuroscience research and related technological developments, including those in information and communication technologies (ICT) and robotics. In this Opinion, we suggest that we can increase our ability to identify which programmes and projects of research, development and innovation are ‘of concern’ by applying the principles of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) to the concept of ‘dual use’ and distinguishing between ‘responsible’ and ‘irresponsible’ systems of research and technological development. We therefore use the term ‘dual use research of concern’ (DURC) to refer to neuroscience research and technological innovations, and brain inspired developments in information and communication technologies, for use in the political, security, intelligence and military domains, which are either directly of concern because of their potential for use in ways that threaten the peace, health, safety, security and well-being of citizens, or are undertaken without responsible regard to such potential uses. To ensure ongoing attention to these issues, the Opinion proposes recommendations for the Human Brain Project, the European Union and the wider neuroscience and ICT community.


The research leading to this result has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 720270 (HBP SGA1)


Opinion Dual Use_DOI.pdf

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HBP SGA1 – Human Brain Project Specific Grant Agreement 1 720270
European Commission