Research Topic

ELSI in 20 Years: Predictions and Perspectives

About this Research Topic

A new awareness focused on the effects of technology on individuals, society and the environment is emerging and permeating rapidly throughout all features of human life. The advent of novel technologies in genetics, pharmacology, neurosciences, bioengineering and robotic miniaturization (among others) is likely to have deep implications on human behavior as well as our society's responsiveness to accommodate them, but without compromising individual autonomy and environmental sustainability.

Some scientific developments seem to lead society towards a “brave new world” where technology may replace human identity to foster designed novel behaviors. However, other social trends indicate a deeper sensibility for the vulnerability of individuals, care for the environment and respect for the human ecosystem and individual authenticity.

This Research Topic aims at identifying the dimensions of these trends and foresee their influence on humans, human culture and society, as well as our environment. The core debate remains rooted at the very essence of humanity being challenged with the potential of these technologies to provoke behavioral changes in individuals. Thus, we may ask ourselves: will human society be more humane or will technology will increase the gap between individuals. Is knowledge enough to make society better? Are the IRBs and legal systems ready for leading the future? Should they lead or only accommodate? Are current trends sustainable?

Some topics addressing this research theme may include:
• Personalized clinical trials design and implementation.
• Genotyping, precision medicine and social equality.
• Demographics, aging, end-of-life care and challenges.
• Understanding vulnerable populations and their subject protection.
• Science and health policies, knowledge development and data privacy.
• Bioethics education trends and means.
• Research integrity and social responsibility in drug development and clinical practice.
• Nature restoration of drug-polluted environments
• Neuroprosthetics and robot-driven therapeutics
• Biotechnology, genetic and (nano)-technology-driven human enhancement and their implications for individual and societal identity.
• Big data, all data and only data in a global society
• Being human: law, culture, freedom, precautionary principle and conscientious objection
• Business investment, research funding and conflict of interest resolution
• Facing change: IRB readiness and opportunities


Keywords: Bioethics, Personalized medicine, Vulnerability, Genetics, Trends and public policies


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

A new awareness focused on the effects of technology on individuals, society and the environment is emerging and permeating rapidly throughout all features of human life. The advent of novel technologies in genetics, pharmacology, neurosciences, bioengineering and robotic miniaturization (among others) is likely to have deep implications on human behavior as well as our society's responsiveness to accommodate them, but without compromising individual autonomy and environmental sustainability.

Some scientific developments seem to lead society towards a “brave new world” where technology may replace human identity to foster designed novel behaviors. However, other social trends indicate a deeper sensibility for the vulnerability of individuals, care for the environment and respect for the human ecosystem and individual authenticity.

This Research Topic aims at identifying the dimensions of these trends and foresee their influence on humans, human culture and society, as well as our environment. The core debate remains rooted at the very essence of humanity being challenged with the potential of these technologies to provoke behavioral changes in individuals. Thus, we may ask ourselves: will human society be more humane or will technology will increase the gap between individuals. Is knowledge enough to make society better? Are the IRBs and legal systems ready for leading the future? Should they lead or only accommodate? Are current trends sustainable?

Some topics addressing this research theme may include:
• Personalized clinical trials design and implementation.
• Genotyping, precision medicine and social equality.
• Demographics, aging, end-of-life care and challenges.
• Understanding vulnerable populations and their subject protection.
• Science and health policies, knowledge development and data privacy.
• Bioethics education trends and means.
• Research integrity and social responsibility in drug development and clinical practice.
• Nature restoration of drug-polluted environments
• Neuroprosthetics and robot-driven therapeutics
• Biotechnology, genetic and (nano)-technology-driven human enhancement and their implications for individual and societal identity.
• Big data, all data and only data in a global society
• Being human: law, culture, freedom, precautionary principle and conscientious objection
• Business investment, research funding and conflict of interest resolution
• Facing change: IRB readiness and opportunities


Keywords: Bioethics, Personalized medicine, Vulnerability, Genetics, Trends and public policies


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

08 December 2017 Manuscript
01 February 2018 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

08 December 2017 Manuscript
01 February 2018 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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