Digital Society Initiative
PD Dr. Markus Christen
Markus Christen is Managing Director of the Digital Society Initiative of the University of Zurich (UZH) and heads the Neuro-Ethics-Technology research group at the Institute for Biomedical Ethics and Medical History at the UZH.
Markus Christen studied philosophy, physics, mathematics and biology at the University of Bern and received his doctorate in neuroinformatics at the ETH Zurich; from 1996 to 2001 he worked as a project manager and science journalist. He graduated from the Summer School of Complex Systems of the Santa Fe Institute (2002) and was a Predoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (2005). From 2007 to 2010, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Graduate Program of the University Research Center Ethics, from 2011 to early 2013 Visiting Scholar at the Psychology Department of the University of Notre Dame. Since 2013 he is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine at the University of Zurich, where he completed his habilitation in biomedical ethics in 2016. From 2014-2016 he coordinated the research network "Ethics of Monitoring and Surveillance".
His research areas are ethics of information and communication systems, neuroethics and empirical ethics. Current research topics include the use of video games (Serious Moral Games) to measure and promote moral competence, ethical questions of big data, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, as well as research into human-machine interaction in moral issues, such as the use of drones.
Markus Christen has been Managing Director of the Digital Society Initiative of the University of Zurich since mid-2016. He also heads the "Digital Ethics Lab" as part of the DSI. He is also a member of the "Zentrum für Neurowissenschaften Zürich" and the Ethics Advisory Board of the Human Brain Project. He is co-founder of the Biel Philosophy Days, which have existed since 2001.