PARTICIPATIVE PROJECTS AND ETHICAL DISCOURSE ON NEUROTECHNOLOGY
With Nexus Experiments (formerly: Reaching Out) we established a discourse lab for innovative science communication and science reflection. Our aim is to foster the public dialogue on the ethical and societal implications of neurotechnological research. Designing and curating participatory projects and events at the interface of science and art, we provide scientists, artists and the public a common creative and experimental hub. Drawing on the collaboration with artists and cultural institutions from different art fields helps to gain new perspectives on ethical and societal questions and to conduct highly open-minded and sincere discussions between researchers and the public. During the last six years, we established two event series in Freiburg, conducted numerous single projects and events and realized several large-scale projects (total number of projects and events: 74). Thereby we constantly developed new formats and managed to involve a high number of scientists, artists and cultural institutions. For »Störung/הפרעה«, a one-year-long international cooperation with scientific partners from BrainLinks-BrainTools, partner institutions in Israel and internationally renowned dancer- choreographer Yasmeen Godder, we received additional funding by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the German-Israeli Future Forum. In 2017 the project was honored with the Shimon-Peres-Prize by the German Federal Foreign Office. Our artist-in-residence program »Close to the Brain« invited the Israeli filmmaker Maya Rothschild to depict the cluster’s work on neurotechnological solutions and its engagement for the artistic-scientific project »Störung/הפרעה« in a documentary film (2015/16). In 2016/17 award-winning author Annette Pehnt wrote a literary logbook on brain research and human- machine interfaces and realized the performance »brain writes sounds« together with improvisation artist Harald Kimmig. To increase our supra-regional and international visibility and to spread the idea of innovative hands-on science reflection we worked on our recognition value and the establishment of a brand identity. In early 2018, we launched our own website (www.nexusexperiments.uni- freiburg.de), including a multi-media online exhibition of our projects, interactive public engagement tools and social media activities (blog, Facebook, Instagram). Furthermore we started to work on the theoretical framing of our special approach to science communication. An anthology on how collaboration between science and art can enrich the public dialogue on neurotechnology will be published in 2019 (title: »Science, Art and Neuroethics. Transdisciplinary Collaborations to Foster Public Engagement)
List of own project-related publications
In contrast to other projects in BrainLinks-BrainTools, our aim and mission was to design and conduct participative projects and events. Hence, the amount of scientific literature directly resulting from the project is limited. However, all events and event series were extensively documented and made available online on www.nexusexperiments.uni-freiburg.de.
Bessert-Nettelbeck, M., Livanec, S., Müller, O. (2019) (eds.): Science, Art and Neuroethics. Transdisciplinary Collaborations to Foster Public Engagement. Bielefeld.
Bessert-Nettelbeck, M., and Schrögel, P. (2017) Talking about science and technology... with comics! SciArt Magazine
Grah, G., Kumar, A. (2014): Wettstreit der Metaphern. Gehirn und Geist 13(7), pp. 60-65. Grah, G., Kumar, A.: Die theoretische Basis der Parkinson-Krankheit. Gehirn&Geist.
Krause, F., Müller, O. (2014): Körperwahrnehmung bei tiefer Hirnstimulation und Organtransplantation. Leibphänomenologie als Zugang zum Selbst. In: Zeitschrift für Epileptologie 27, pp. 60-64.
Müller, O. (2014): Neurotechnologie und Menschenbild. Überlegungen zu imaginativen Überschüssen und Selbstdeutungsformen. In: Jahrbuch für Pädagogik, pp.175-189.
Müller, O., Rotter, S. (2016): Neurotechnologie: Aktuelle Entwicklungen und ethische Fragen. In: FIfF-Kommunikation. Zeitschrift für Informatik und Gesellschaft 2, pp. 36-40.
Müller, O., Rotter, S. (2017): Neurotechnology: Current Developments and Ethical Issues: In: Frontiers Systems Neuroscience. Doi.org/10.3389/fnsys.2017.00093