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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists

Simon Rogerson

Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

The world of computing is littered with failures and questionable application. I have become increasingly convinced that a significant reason for this is that developers and users of this technology are ill-equipped to identify the associated potential risks and then put into place strategies to address such risks. My work as Director of the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility is focused on providing people with the knowledge, skills, instruments and guidance to consider technological development from an ethical and social standpoint.

Professional Practice I believe that professional bodies have a vital role to play in information systems practice, education and research. This has led to my involvement in several professional bodies. I am a life-time Vice President and a Fellow of the Institute for the Management of Information Systems (IMIS). As a long-standing member of the IMIS education committee I have played a major role in the Institute’s education strategy particularly in providing equality of opportunity and access to those in the developing world. As a member of the Ethics Panel of the British Computer Society (BCS) I am leading the innovative modernisation of the Code of Practice. This follows on from my work in developing the Code of Ethics for IMIS, the Code of Conduct for BCS and the Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice for the ACM and IEEE-CS for which I received an award from the IEEE.

Research Critical Mass I have played a major role in establishing a relevant and sustainable applied research community. The ETHICOMP conference series, which I conceived and direct, is acknowledged as Europe’s leading forum and has been instrumental in creating a critical mass of European multidisciplinary research in this field. Conferences have been held in the UK, Spain, The Netherlands, Italy, Poland and Portugal with the next two planned for Greece and Sweden. Delegates and speakers from all continents have attended. Over 380 papers have been presented at the six conferences. Many important papers and exciting international collaborations have come from this series

Software Project Management Professor Don Gotterbarn from the USA and I have been undertaking leading edge research in the ethical enhancement of the management processes of software development. Our research has resulted in the Software Development Impact Statement process (SoDIS) which encourages those involved in project management to consider the wider ramifications of their work. An associated decision support tool, SoDIS Project Auditor has been developed. It has successfully undergone field trials in the UK, Australia and the USA and has recently been used in my electronic voting research for the UK Government. This research will radically change the way in which software is developed and will reduce the risk of failure or unacceptable application.

Policy Advice My input to policy formulation is significant. I was an invited Expert Adviser for Opinion 13, Ethical Issues of Health Care in the Information Society of the EC's European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies. This led to me becoming a member of the EC working party on health websites. I participated in the pervasive technology think tank run by the Department of Trade and Industry. By invitation of the Russian Government and as part of the British Council delegation I delivered a keynote address at Information Society and Intelligent Information Technologies in the 21st Century Summit held in Moscow.

Brief Biography

Simon Rogerson is Director of the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility and Europe’s first Professor in Computer Ethics at De Montfort University. Following a successful industrial career where he held managerial posts in the computer field, he now combines research, lecturing and consultancy in the management, organisational and ethical aspects of information and communication technologies (ICT). He has published over 230 papers and books. Books he has authored and co-authored include: “Computer Ethics and Professional Responsibility”, “Ethical Aspects of Information Technology: Issues for Senior Executives”, “Strategic Management Support Systems”, “Successful Group Work”, “Global Information Ethics” and “Project Skills Handbook”. He has presented papers on computer ethics topics at conferences throughout the world including Australia, Germany, India, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK and USA, sharing platforms with leading academics, government officials and advisors.

He was a leading member on the Measures of Success project for the e-Envoy of the UK government and played a major role in advising the UK government on the issues surrounding electronic voting.

He conceived and co-directs the ETHICOMP conference series on the ethical impacts of ICT. He is responsible for creating the world’s leading World Wide Web portal on computer ethics which attracts over two million annual hits. He was the winner of the 1999 IFIP Namur Award for outstanding contribution to the creation of awareness of the social implications of information technology.

He is a member of the Parliamentary IT Committee, Vice President and a Fellow of the Institute for the Management of Information Systems and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. He is a founding board member of the International Society for Ethics and Information Technology.