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King's College London - Human Brain Project



The Human Brain Project (HBP) is a European Commission Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship, launched in October 2013 and scheduled to run for ten years. The HBP aims to put in place an Information and Communication technology - based scientific research infrastructure for brain research, cognitive neuroscience and brain-inspired computing. The HBP comprises twelve subprojects (SP), five of which are focused on research and the generation of data resources while the rest focus on constructing the HBP research infrastructure platforms.

Ethics and Society is one of the subprojects of HBP's (SP12) focused on foresight, neuroethics, philosophy, public engagement and researcher awareness. It is responsible for conducting research to identify and address the conceptual, ethical, legal, social issues and challenges raised by HBP research. Through its research and ethics management, it aims to promote Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) practices within the HBP and help shape research in ethically sound ways that serve the public interest.

The Foresight Lab at King's College London is a part of SP12 and focuses on identifying and evaluating the future impact of new  knowledge and technologies generated by the HBP using a range of methods from action research, interviews, participant observation to literature reviews, questionnaire surveys and expert workshops. The key objective is to develop 'foresight' - the practice of making ‘forward looks,’ of anticipating change, of studying future possibilities. Scenarios are developed which serve as frameworks and stimuli for evaluating the possible consequences of the HBP on society. These are then discussed with key informants from a range of communities to generate a series of best practice recommendations directed towards researchers and HBP managers to simultaneously enable the adoption of strategies that optimise scientific and social benefits while enhancing preparedness for possible ethical concerns and dilemmas.   

Learn more HBP and RRI - a lecture by PI Professor Nikolas Rose


The timeline of the HBP is split into multiple phases, each of which is covered by a separate grant agreement. The Ramp-Up phase of the HBP, from October 2013 to March 2016, was funded under the EC FP7. The remainder of the project is funded under the EC Horizon 2020. The current phase falls under the Specific Grant Agreement (SGA1) spanning the two -year period from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2018. Awards are as below,

Ramp-Up Phase (Oct 2013 - Mar 2016) - € 3,56,666.67 (EC FP7) 

Specific Grant Agreement 1 (Apr 2016 - Mar 2018) - € 8,18,938 (H2020) 

Learn more about the interdisciplinary work of the Foresight Lab and SP12 - an interview with its Senior Research Fellow Dr Christine Aicardi


Principal Investigator (SP 12) : Nikolas Rose,  Professor of Sociology 

Research Team: Dr Christine Aicardi, Senior Research Fellow

                            Saheli Datta, Research Assistant

                            Tara Mahfoud, Research Assistant

                            Jennifer O'Connor, Senior Research Projects Officer

More information on the project.

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