Professor Bernd Stahl

Job: Director of the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility

Faculty: Technology

School/department: School of Computer Science and Informatics

Research group(s): Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR)

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH, United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)116 207 8252

E: bstahl@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.tech.dmu.ac.uk/~bstahl/

 

Personal profile

Bernd Carsten Stahl is Professor of Critical Research in Technology and Director the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. His interests cover philosophical issues arising from the intersections of business, technology, and information. This includes the ethics of ICT and critical approaches to information systems. 

Publications and outputs 

  • A Critical Perspective of Engagement in Online Health Communities
    A Critical Perspective of Engagement in Online Health Communities Hur, Inkyoung; Cousins, Karlene; Stahl, Bernd Carsten, 1968- Many individuals go to online health communities to obtain emotional and information support. We employ critical discourse analysis (CDA) to examine the discourse in five online childhood immunization forums to identify online practices related to engagement and emancipation. We identify four online engagement discourse types in online health communities: cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and political. Consistent with our critical perspective, we identify drivers and obstacles to emancipation. The obstacles to emancipation include the adverse consequences of building online knowledge and collective intelligence, shifts in patient-physician relationships, and “Big” institutional power. Members’ suggestions for empowering community members include encouraging members to conduct their own research on childhood immunization and to differentiate between facts and opinions. These findings suggest that sensemaking is one way to emancipate online health community members, while highlighting the challenges of using online communities to promote emancipation. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
  • Responsible Data Governance of Neuroscience Big Data
    Responsible Data Governance of Neuroscience Big Data Fothergill, B. Tyr; Knight, William; Stahl, Bernd Carsten, 1968-; Ulnicane, Inga Current discussions of the ethical aspects of big data are shaped by concerns regarding the social consequences of both the widespread adoption of machine learning and the ways in which biases in data can be replicated and perpetuated. We instead focus here on the ethical issues arising from the use of big data in international neuroscience collaborations. Neuroscience innovation relies upon neuroinformatics, large-scale data collection and analysis enabled by novel and emergent technologies. Each step of this work involves aspects of ethics, ranging from concerns for adherence to informed consent or animal protection principles and issues of data re-use at the stage of data collection, to data protection and privacy during data processing and analysis, and issues of attribution and intellectual property at the data-sharing and publication stages. Significant dilemmas and challenges with far-reaching implications are also inherent, including reconciling the ethical imperative for openness and validation with data protection compliance and considering future innovation trajectories or the potential for misuse of research results. Furthermore, these issues are subject to local interpretations within different ethical cultures applying diverse legal systems emphasising different aspects. Neuroscience big data require a concerted approach to research across boundaries, wherein ethical aspects are integrated within a transparent, dialogical data governance process. We address this by developing the concept of “responsible data governance,” applying the principles of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) to the challenges presented by the governance of neuroscience big data in the Human Brain Project (HBP). Open access article.
  • Beyond Research Ethics: Dialogues in Neuro-ICT Research
    Beyond Research Ethics: Dialogues in Neuro-ICT Research Stahl, Bernd Carsten, 1968-; Akintoye, Simisola; Guerrero, Manuel; Fothergill, B. Tyr; Ulnicane, Inga; Knight, William The increasing use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to help facilitate neuroscience adds a new level of complexity to the question of how ethical issues of such research can be identified and addressed. Current research ethics practice, based on ethics reviews by institutional review boards (IRB) and underpinned by ethical principlism, has been widely criticized. In this article, we develop an alternative way of approaching ethics in neuro-ICT research, based on discourse ethics, which implements Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) through dialogues. We draw on our work in Ethics Support, using the Human Brain Project (HBP) as empirical evidence of the viability of this approach. open access article
  • The Human Brain Project: Responsible Brain Research for the Benefit of Society
    The Human Brain Project: Responsible Brain Research for the Benefit of Society Salles, Arleen; Bjaalie, Jan G.; Evers, Kathinka; Farisco, Michele; Fothergill, B. Tyr; Guerrero, Manuel; Maslen, Hannah; Muller, Jeffrey; Prescott, Tony; Stahl, Bernd Carsten, 1968-; Walter, Henrik; Zilles, Karl; Amunts, Katrin Recognizing that its research may raise various ethical, social, and philosophical issues, the HBP has made the identification, examination, and management of those issues a top priority. The Ethics and Society subproject is part of the core research project. open access article
  • Intersectional observations of the Human Brain Project’s approach to sex and gender
    Intersectional observations of the Human Brain Project’s approach to sex and gender Fothergill, B. Tyr; Knight, William; Stahl, Bernd Carsten, 1968-; Ulnicane, Inga Purpose – This paper aims to critically assess approaches to sex and gender in the Human Brain Project (HBP) as a large ICT project AQ: 1 case study using intersectionality. Design/methodology/approach – The strategy of the HBP is contextualised within the wider context of AQ: 2 the representation of women in ICT, and critically reflected upon from an intersectional standpoint. Findings – The policy underpinning the approach deployed by the HBP in response to these issues parallels Horizon 2020 wording and emphasises economic outcomes, productivity and value, which aligns with other “equality” initiatives influenced by neoliberalised versions of feminism. Research limitations/implications – Limitations include focussing on a single case study, the authors being funded as part of the Ethics and Society Subproject of the HBP, and the limited temporal period under consideration. Social implications – The frameworks underpinning the HBP approach to sex and gender issues present risks with regard to the further entrenchment of present disparities in the ICT sector, may fail to acknowledge systemic inequalities and biases and ignore the importance of intersectionality. Shortcomings of the approach employed by the HBP up to March, 2018 included aspects of each of these risks, and replicated problematic understandings of sex, gender and diversity. Originality/value – This paper is the first to use an intersectional approach to issues of sex and gender in the context of large-scale ICT research. Its value lies in raising awareness, opening a discursive space and presenting opportunities to consider and reflect upon potential, contextualised intersectional solutions to such issues.
  • Ethics and Privacy in AI and Big Data: Implementing Responsible Research and Innovation
    Ethics and Privacy in AI and Big Data: Implementing Responsible Research and Innovation Stahl, Bernd Carsten, 1968-; Wright, David Emerging combinations of artificial intelligence, big data and the applications these enable are receiving significant media and policy attention. Much of the attention concerns privacy and other ethical issues. In our paper, we suggest that what is needed now is a way to comprehensively understand these issues and find mechanisms of addressing them that involve stakeholders, including civil society, to ensure that these technologies’ benefits outweigh their disadvantages. We suggest that the concept of responsible research and innovation (RRI) can provide the framing required to act with a view to ensuring that the technologies are socially acceptable, desirable and sustainable. We draw from our work on the Human Brain Project, one potential driver for the next generation of these technologies, to discuss how RRI can be put in practice. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
  • Responsible Research in IT
    Responsible Research in IT Nulli, Margherita; Stahl, Bernd Carsten, 1968-; Ten Holter, Carolyn; de Heaver, Martin The file attached to this record is the author's version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • The Role of Ethics in the Data Governance of Large Neuro-ICT Projects
    The Role of Ethics in the Data Governance of Large Neuro-ICT Projects Stahl, Bernd Carsten, 1968-; Rainey, Stephen; Harris, Emma; Fothergill, B. Tyr Objective We describe current practices of ethics-related data governance in large neuro-ICT projects, identify gaps in current practice, and put forward recommendations on how to collaborate ethically in complex regulatory and normative contexts. Materials and Methods We undertake a survey of published principles of data governance of large neuro-ICT projects. This grounds an approach to a normative analysis of current data governance approaches. Results Several ethical issues are well covered in the data governance policies of neuro-ICT projects, notably data protection and attribution of work. Projects use a set of similar policies to ensure users behave appropriately. However, many ethical issues are not covered at all. Implementation and enforcement of policies remain vague. Conclusion The data governance policies we investigated indicate that the neuro-ICT research community is currently close-knit and that shared assumptions are reflected in infrastructural aspects. This explains why many ethical issues are not explicitly included in data governance policies at present. With neuro-ICT research growing in scale, scope, and international involvement, these shared assumptions should be made explicit and reflected in data governance. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
  • Responsible Research and Innovation in Industry—Challenges, Insights and Perspectives
    Responsible Research and Innovation in Industry—Challenges, Insights and Perspectives Martinuzzi, Andre; Block, Vincent; Brem, Alexander; Stahl, Bernd Carsten, 1968-; Schönherr, Norma Abstract: The responsibility of industry towards society and the environment is a much discussed topic, both in academia and in business. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has recently emerged as a new concept with the potential to advance this discourse in light of two major challenges industry is facing today. The first relates to the accelerating race to innovate in order to stay competitive in a rapidly changing world. The second concerns the need to maintain public trust in industry through innovations that generate social value in addition to economic returns. This Special Issue provides empirical and conceptual contributions that explore corporate motivations to adopt RRI, the state of implementation of concrete RRI practices, the role of stakeholders in responsible innovation processes, as well as drivers and barriers to the further diffusion of RRI in industry. Overall, these contributions highlight the relevance of RRI for firms of different sizes and sectors. They also provide insights and suggestions for managers, policymakers and researchers wishing to engage with responsibility in innovation. This editorial summarizes the most pertinent conclusions across the individual articles published in this Special Issue and concludes by outlining some fruitful avenues for future research in this space. open access article
  • Accompanying technology development in the Human Brain Project: From foresight to ethics management
    Accompanying technology development in the Human Brain Project: From foresight to ethics management Aicardi, C.; Fothergill, B. Tyr; Rainey, Stephen; Stahl, Bernd Carsten, 1968-; Harris, E. This paper addresses the question of managing the existential risk potential of general Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as the more near-term yet hazardous and disruptive implications of specialised AI, from the perspective of a particular research project that could make a significant contribution to the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI): the Human Brain Project (HBP), a ten year Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship of the European Commission. The HBP aims to create a digital research infrastructure for brain science, cognitive neuroscience, and brain-inspired computing. This paper builds on work undertaken in the HBP’s Ethics and Society subproject (SP12). Collaborators from two activities in SP12, Foresight and Researcher Awareness on the one hand, and Ethics Management on the other, use the case of machine intelligence to illustrate key aspects of the dynamic processes through which questions of ethics and society, including existential risks, are approached in the organisational context of the HBP. The overall aim of the paper is to provide practice-based evidence, enriched by self-reflexive assessment of the approach used and its limitations, for guiding policy makers and communities who are, and will be, engaging with such questions. Open access article

Click here to view a full listing of Bernd Stahl's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

Computer and information ethics

Emerging Technologies

Responsible Research and Innovation

Areas of teaching

Ethics and ICT

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in ICT

Critical approaches to information systems

Privacy

Qualifications

DSc De Montfort University, UK

PhD University Witten/Herdecke, Germany.

MSc in Industrial Engineering: University of the German Armed Forces, Hamburg, Germany

MA in Philosophy and Economics: University of Hagen, Germany

MPhil in Philosophy: University Michel de Montaigne, Bordeaux III, France

LLM in Business Law: De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

Membership of professional associations and societies

Fellow of the British Computer Society (BCS) (since 04/2010, Member from 2003)

Fellow of the International Information Management Association (IIMA) (from 2005);

President of the IIMA 2005-2006

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (from March 2007), registered practitioner since April 2006

Member of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP), Working Group 8.2

Member of the Association for Information Systems (AIS)

Member of the United Kingdom Academy for Information Systems (UKAIS)

Member of the Information Resource Management Association (IRMA)

Member of the International Center for Information Ethics (ICIE)

Member of the European Business Ethics Network (EBEN)

Projects

    For an overview of my past and current research projects, please check the relevant page of the CCSR website: www.dmu.ac.uk/ccsr

Consultancy work

Ethics

Responsible Research and Innovation

Privacy Impact Assessment

Externally funded research grants information

Project Title: CONSIDER (Civil Society Organisations in Designing Research Governance)
Funded By: EU FP7
Role: Co-ordinator
Start Date: 02/2012
End Date: 01/2015
Financial Contribution: €1,499,381

Project Title: Framework for Ethics in ICT (led by Marina Jirotka, University of Oxford)
Funded By: UK EPSRC
Role: CI
Start Date: 09/2011
End Date: 03/2014
Financial Contribution: £397, 172

Project Title: IDEGOV (Identification and governance of emerging ethical issues in information systems)
Funded By: CIGREF
Role: PI
Start Date: 08/2011
End Date: 07/2012
Financial Contribution: €70,000

Project Title: ETICA, Ethical Issues of Emerging ICT Application
Funded By: EU FP7
Role: Co-ordinator
Start Date: 04/2009
End Date: 05/2011
Financial Contribution: €834,000

Project Title: Development of the Ethical Review of Computing Projects – The State of the Art
Funded By: Higher Education Academy
Role: PI
Start Date: 2008
End Date: 2008
Financial Contribution: £3,000

Project Title: HEROBC Innovation and Regional Fellowship, for the Project: Doing IT Right, together with N. Ben Fairweather and Simon Rogerson
Funded By: East Midlands Development Agency
Role: PI
Start Date: 07/2004
End Date: 12/2004
Financial Contribution: £12,470

Project Title: Visiting lectureship (DAAD Fachlektor Wirtschaft) in the German Department and the MIS Department of University College Dublin, Ireland
Funded By: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Role: N/A
Start Date: 2000
End Date: 2003
Financial Contribution: Approx. €150,000

Internally funded research project information

Project Title: Teacher Fellowship
Funded By: DMU
Role: N/A
Start Date: 2007
End Date: 2010
Financial Contribution: £9,000

Project Title: Research Informed Teaching Initiative for the project: "Student Online Peer Review Journal for Computer Forensics"
Funded By: DMU
Role: PI
Start Date: 2008
End Date: 2009
Financial Contribution: £1,500

Project Title: Research Informed Teaching Initiative for the project: "Ethics Reviews of Computing Projects"
Funded By: DMU
Role: PI
Start Date: 2007
End Date: 2008
Financial Contribution: £1,500

Project Title: Research Informed Teaching Award (together with Chris Wood) for the project: "Teaching Professionalism in Online Environments"
Funded By: DMU
Role: CI
Start Date: 2007
End Date: 2008
Financial Contribution: £5,000

Project Title: Curriculum Development and Innovation Award (together with the "Society and Information" course team) for the development of the Society and Information course
Funded By: DMU
Role: PI
Start Date: 2006
End Date: 2007
Financial Contribution: £3,000

Project Title: Curriculum Development and Innovation Award (together with the "Forensic Computing" course team) for the development of the Forensic Computing course
Funded By: DMU
Role: CI
Start Date: 2006
End Date: 2007
Financial Contribution: £3,000

Project Title: Pedagogic Research Award for "Ethical Issues of E-Learning"
Funded By: DMU
Role: PI
Start Date: 2005
End Date: 2006
Financial Contribution: £1,000

Professional esteem indicators

Journal Editor for:

  • Senior Associate Editor European Journal of Information Systems (EJIS)(AE from 2008 – 2010)
  • Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing (2010 - )
  • Associate Editor European Journal of Information Systems (EJIS) 2008 - 2010
  • Editor-in-Chief International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction (IJTHI) 2004 – 2009, Associate Editor since 2009
  • Associate Editor International Journal of Doctoral Studies (IJDS) 2006 –
  • Associate Editor Journal of the Association for Information Systems, special issue on Researching Ethics in Information Systems (editors: Antony Bryant, Frank Land, 2008)
  • Managing editor of the Communications of the IIMA, Volume 3 (2003) Issues 1-4 and Volume 4 (2004) Issues 1-4

Journal Editorial Review Board for:

  • Member of the International Advisory Board (2011 – ) of the International Review of Information Ethics (IRIE)
  • Member of the Editorial Board (2011 - ) of The International Journal of Cyber Ethics in Education (IJCEE)
  • Member of the Editorial Board (2005 - ) of the Information Resource Management Journal
  • Member of the Editorial Board (2006 - ) of the Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law
  • Member of the Editorial Review Board (2003 - ) of the Journal of IS Education (Senior Editorial Board since 2011)
  • Member of the Review Board (2005 - ) of the International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology
  • Member of the Editorial Review Board (2002 - 2006) of the Journal of International Technology and Information Management (formerly JIIM)
  • Member of the Editorial Review Board (2001-2002) of the Journal of International Information Management (JIIM)

External commitments

External Examiner for the MSc programmes in Information Systems at Salford University

Inaugural Editor in Chief and now Associate Editor of the International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction (since 2005)

Associate Editor of the European Journal of Information Systems (since 2008)

Associate Editor of the Journal of Doctoral Studies (since 2007)

Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing (since 2010)

Invited Presentations and Policy Impact

B. Stahl’s numerous invited presentations demonstrate both his scientific excellence and the policy relevance of his work. He has been asked to present his work at a broad range of scientific and academic conferences and meetings. In addition he has presented repeatedly at high level policy-relevant events, notably on a European level:

  • “Ethics and governance of emerging ICTs” In: The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies Round Table on Ethical Aspects of Information and Communication Technologies. 15.11.2011, Berlaymont Building, Brussels, Belgium
  • “Emerging ICTs and their relevance to ageing” In: Fair Carer of Poor Keeper? Making ICT for ageing effective and ethical. First Value AGEING conference, 26-27.10.2011, San Sebastian, Spain
  • “Ethical aspects of autonomous systems: Foresight and governance approaches” In: International Symposium: Evolutionary Robotics, Organic Computing and adaptive ambience: epistemological and ethical implications of technomorphic descriptions of technologies, 20-22.10.2011, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
  • “Ethics of emerging ICTs”, presentation to the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies. First expert presentation to the EGE in preparation of the Opinion on Ethics in ICT. 11.04.2011, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium
  • "Ethics of emerging ICTs" In: Governance and Ethics of Emerging ICT and Security Technologies. European Commission, 18.11.2010, Brussels, Belgium
  • "Intercultural Perspectives on Privacy" Workshop on Privacy, Data-gathering Technologies and Human Rights, International Council on Human Rights, 13.09.2010, Geneva, Switzerland
  • "The Ethics of The Ethics of Privacy in the Digital Society - Ethical issues of emerging information and communication technologies" In: A Fine Balance: Privacy in the Digital World. Cybersecurity KTN, 08.06.2010, London, UK
  • "Criminalising Fantasies: The Regulation of Virtual Child Pornography," In: research colloquium of UWIC Management School, 03.02.2010, Cardiff, UK

Notable publications that demonstrate the policy impact beyond the presentations listed above include:

  • Stahl, Bernd Carsten (2011): “IT for a Better Future: How to Integrate Ethics, Politics and Innovation” In: Von Schomberg, Rene von (ed.): Towards Responsible Research and Innovation in the Information and Communication Technologies and Security Technologies Fields, Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union, pp. 17-34
  • European Parliament; Directorate General for Internal Policies; Directorate E: Legislative Coordination and Conciliations; Science and Technology Options Assessment: “Pathways towards Responsible ICT Innovation.” STOA Policy brief on the ETICA project; PE 460.346, May 2011
Bernd Carsten Stahl

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