The Delft Design for Values COVID-19 Working Group

News - 23 April 2020 - Webredactie

The Delft Design for Values (DDfV) COVID-19 Working Group (WGCV-19) aims to coordinate a collective response to the ethical and design issues raised by the COVID-19 crisis from researchers based in the Netherlands. It will focus on the ethical challenges of pandemics and emergency responses, especially how these can be addressed by emerging technologies. Additionally, the WGCV-19 will explore innovative responses to acute challenges and collate solutions to future pandemics and other crisis scenarios, as well as sharing these solutions with policy makers, epidemiologists, medical professionals, and the general public.

More information can be found by contacting Matthew Dennis or on the DDfV-website:

This webpage will be a repository for the publications that we hope to write in the months ahead, it will contain links to news and media appearances, as well as hosting a list of TU Delft researchers whose work intersects with the ethical challenges of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 crisis challenges us to fundamentally rethink numerous philosophical and ethical issues. It raises new problems for how our current understandings of value conflict, transparency, paternalism, risk management, online privacy, civic responsibility, mass surveillance, emergency governance, digital well-being, and intercultural approaches to public health. These issues are rapidly growing in size and complexity, and it is likely they will continue to do so as the crisis develops in coming months.

In recent weeks, we have seen unprecedented restrictions on movement, prohibition of gatherings, and discarding of privacy protections. Governments around the world are collectively taking drastic measures, ones that may derogate fundamental human rights. These decisions are taken in the context of a profound uncertainty regarding the efficacy of the measures, as well as the impact of the technological tools that we use to impose them. Connected to these ethical issues, the crisis requires that we rethink how technology enables us to respond. New technologies have the potential to help us escape value trade-offs, data-driven technologies offer ways to predict and monitor epidemics, diagnostic and app-based tools are being developed to more effectively triage patients and to aid prognosis, cutting-edge manufacturing processes (e.g. 3D printing, nanotechnology) may be able to offer new tools for fighting infections, and other emerging technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence, machine learning) are revolutionising established medical disciplines (virology, epidemiology, etc.). All of these technological responses to the crisis come with ethical implications that urgently need to be addressed