Message posted on 13/02/2024

Call for Papers - Relational Ethics in Technological Societies - ETH Zürich

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to draw your attention to a call for papers for a workshop on Relational Ethics in Technological Societies that Dr. Kebene Wodajo, Prof. Karen Huang, and I are organizing at ETH Zurich, May 30 - June 1.

Best, Margo Boenig-Liptsin

Call for Papers – Relational Ethics in Technological Societies

Workshop: ETH Zürich, May 30– June 1, 2024; Due date for submission: March 4, 2024

Science and technology inform nearly all aspects of individual and collective life today, and consequent dilemma on how to make the “right” use of it inspire publics, corporate leaders, workers, educators and politicians around the world to question what it means to live responsibly and pursue human flourishing in contexts of advanced technological societies. Increasingly, scholars who study the interface of science, technology and society are recognizing that urgent questions of technology ethics and governance demand alternative frameworks, institutions, and training than the current set on offer. In particular, they see how initiatives based upon a Euro-​American concept of the individual rational decision-​maker contribute to the instrumentalization of ethics of innovation. Instrumentalist ethics provides a veneer of satisfying ethical evaluation while foreclosing diverse social actors from being able to meaningfully grapple with urgent questions about technology and the human future. Addressing this problem requires innovative approaches to ethics and governance that combine fundamental research in pluralistic ethics in contexts of technological societies with interdisciplinary, cross-​cultural and inter-​sector collaboration. Such a project would start from rethinking the concept of the human and its relations in technological societies using perspectives from culturally and theoretically diverse traditions and to bring these insights into education of science and engineers, into science and technology practice, and into re-​design of institutions of science and technology governance.

Emerging alternative approaches across research, education, practice, and institution-​design draw upon perspectives from "relational ethics." Relational ethics begin with the understanding that ethics unfold in the midst of collective life, and thus attend to the particularities of human relationships and the constitutive role of knowledge and technology in them. Different ethical traditions contribute to and complement relational ethics, including narrative ethics, African ethics, feminist care ethics and moral anthropology. These traditions emphasize relationality as a core element of meaningful individual and collective life rooted in a sense of care and community. They focus analytic attention on the relational contexts and consequences of life in advanced technological societies, such as the growing "epidemic of loneliness" (US Public Health Service 2023), evisceration of meaningful conversation and discussion (in interpersonal as well as political scales) (Turkle 2011; 2015), undermining of social trust, shared epistemology and common sense.

To-​date scholars work with relational approaches across academic disciplines and real-​world case studies, but knowledge-​sharing and collective consideration has been limited. The motivation for this workshop is to build new and enduring vibrant collaborations among key international scholars of narrative, African, and feminist care ethics and scholars of technology and society who are developing education, responsible technology practice, and institutional technology governance innovation.

The workshop will be guided by the following questions:

  • What are the relational and pluralistic ways to (re)think the concept of the human in technological societies?

  • How can relational ethics approaches be brought to better understand the relational contexts and consequences of emergent and convergent technologies, especially AI, climate-​mitigation technologies, biotechnologies, and respond to them?

  • How can relational ethics approaches contribute to strengthening the relational aspects of individual and collective life, such as conversation and debate, trust, recognition, solidarity and interdependence?

  • What are practical ways of introducing relational ethics approaches into technology ethics education, technology governance (policy and law), and design/practice?


Please submit your 400-​word abstract (not including references) and bio (up to 250 words) external pageby March 4 via this submission formcall_made. Authors invited to the conference are expected to provide a partial or full draft of their paper two weeks before the conference, by May 1.


March 4, 2024: Abstracts due

March 25, 2024: Decisions communicated to authors

May 1, 2024: Submit draft papers for workshop

May 30 - June 1, 2024: In-​person workshop in Zürich, Switzerland

December 2024: 2nd authors' workshop (to be coordinated among participants)

February 2025: Edited volume submitted to publisher

Please send any questions to


Prof. Dr. Margarita Boenig-Liptsin Assistant Professor for Ethics, Technology and Society

Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences ETH Zürich

STB F 20.2 Stampfenbachstrasse 69 CH-8006 Zurich / Switzerland

EASST's Eurograd mailing list Eurograd (at) Unsubscribe or edit subscription options:

Meet us via

Report abuses of this list to

view as plain text

EASST-Eurograd RSS

mailing list
30 recent messages