© Universität Bielefeld

Soziologie

New Research on Ethics Advice during the Pandemic

Veröffentlicht am 3. August 2023, 11:19 Uhr

A recent article published by researchers from Bielefeld University in ‚Risk, Hazard & Crisis in Public Policy‘ shows that during the pandemic in Germany multiple understandings of expertise and ethics advice existed. This explains why ethics advice was sometimes described as a technocratic and at other times as a political instrumentalization of science. Based on the concept of ‚ethical adhocracy‘, it is argued that, especially in times of crisis, these seemingly opposed claims can be explained by co-existing and temporally changing logics of how ethics advice is formulated and used to advise policy-makers. The paper is based on an analysis of policy documents and workshops with ethical experts and members of organizations relevant to the German COVID response. The aim is to understand how epistemic and ethical claims are linked, to reconstruct the underlying temporal structures, and to identify when ethical dilemmas and controversies arise. A clearer understanding of these logics is needed to improve national crisis response and governance during future crises. The article is part of the international research project ‚Expertise and Ethics beyond times of crisis‘, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK). Open Acess: https://doi.org/10.1002/rhc3.12276

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