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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

Event: «The Ethics about the “Good” Drones» – Invited Lecture by Ning Wang

On 29 April 2021, from 2PM to 3PM CEST (UTC+2) Ning Wang will present and discuss online her work at the IEEE SSIT Distinguished Lecture Series, on the humanitarian use of drones in Nepal and Malawi. The talk is organized and hosted by the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT), which is a global, interdisciplinary community exploring and supporting the evolution of informed understanding of the impact of technology and innovation on people, society and the planet.

Technological innovation intersects with values, norms, beliefs and various moral commitments. In the aid sector, the use of novel technology may challenge the principle of ‘Do No Harm’, may raise questions related to sovereignty, may widen inequality between those with access and those without in disaster zones and remote areas lacking sufficient healthcare services, and may raise security and privacy risks disproportionately affecting the already vulnerable. This lecture focuses on the ethical considerations associated with the humanitarian use of drones. The findings are based on two recent field studies conducted in Nepal and Malawi, during 2019-2020, around two main applications – disaster mapping and medical supply delivery. The results are expected to inform the community on the gaps and needs with respect to the ethical challenges that humanitarian innovation may invoke in the case of the so-called “good” drones.