The Society for Philosophy and Technology would like to congratulate Mark Coeckelbergh, the Society’s newly elected Vice President and President-Elect.
Coeckelbergh is Professor of Philosophy of Media and Technology in the Philosophy Department of the University of Vienna, and (part-time) Professor of Technology and Social Responsibility at De Montfort University, UK. He has also been Managing Director of the 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology. His publications include Growing Moral Relations (2012), Human Being @ Risk (2013), Environmental Skill (2015), Money Machines (2015) and numerous articles in the area of philosophy of technology, in particular the ethics of robotics and ICTs, in journals such as Techné, Philosophy and Technology, Ethics and Information Technology, and AI & Society. On his website, you can find more information about his books, talks, as well as his blog.
Coeckelbergh is involved in interdisciplinary collaborations, for instance with artists and in the context of the European research project DREAM (robotics), is co‐chair of the Technical Committee ‘Robot Ethics’ of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society, and is a member of the steering committee of ETHICOMP.
He has pledged to take up an an active and leading role in the organization, using his experience with organizations and management (IEEE, ETHICOMP, 3TU), international network and experience, as well as “a passion for philosophy of technology, and warm sympathy for so many amazing colleagues that are working in this area.”
During his term, he intends to work closely together with the SPT Board in supporting research excellence in philosophy of technology and facilitate “the ongoing flourishing and growth of what I have always experienced as a friendly, stimulating, open, and pluralistic community.”
He adds, “It is my strong ambition to help the Society promote the further consolidation and recognition of philosophy of technology as a highly valuable and much needed distinct discipline, which as such can contribute to, interact with, and learn from other philosophical and non‐philosophical domains of study. Well‐targeted conferences that open up new areas of research, a high quality journal, and a lively website, but also effective use of social media and personal publications and networks are instrumental in getting closer to this aim and need to receive ongoing attention and support.”
He believes that it is crucial for the future of SPT to ensure that the Society continues to attract and support early career researchers, “which contribute so much to making the SPT community what it is”, and that SPT retains and strengthens not only its philosophical orientation but also its “openness, pluralism, and international character” when it comes to diversity in approaches, disciplines, and membership.
Coeckelbergh’s new role as Vice-President of SPT will transition to that of President at our biennial conference in Darmstadt, Germany, June 14-17, 2017. Thanks to all our active members who voted in this election; we very much appreciate your voice in our governance. SPT looks forward to his leadership and to welcoming him as President in 2017!
About Coeckelbergh’s Research:
“During the past few years, I have been working on the theme of distance and technology, which has resulted in two books: Money Machines, with which I wanted to show that financial technologies can also be an interesting field for philosophers of technology to work on, and Environmental Skill. I think it is important to make more connections between environmental philosophy and philosophy of technology.
I am currently doing more work on financial technologies (articles in Techné and in Human Studies). I also am continuing my work on philosophy of robotics with several articles and with my participation in the European research project DREAM (a project which develops robots for therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder). Unique in this project is the close collaboration between ethics and engineering. The work of my ethics team is not done as a kind of external evaluation, but is integrated in the project, thus doing responsible innovation in practice.
In addition, I have been setting up two new research lines: one which explores the links between (robotic) technology and art, and one on technology and language. I have a published AI & Society article in which I map this area of inquiry and propose a research agenda for thinking about language and technology. I hope to further develop this work here in Vienna and set up new collaborations in these areas. And during the coming months I will work on the next SPT conference with the President, the Board, and the local organizers in Darmstadt, Sabine Ammon and Alfred Nordmann. Looking forward to that conference!”