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4TU.
Resilience Engineering

Samantha Copeland

I am a philosopher with the Ethics and Philosophy of Technology section, in the Department of Values, Technology and Innovation at TU Delft. My work focusses on the ethical aspects of resilience approaches to engineering and urban planning. In general, my research is an analysis of the epistemology and ethics of making strategic decisions in the face of uncertainty: that is, how we assess the potential value of taking steps in a direction, and the implications of those decisions for ourselves and others.

For instance, I think it is time to bring what we know about how positive results can come out of unexpected events—like in cases of serendipity—together with how we ought to prepare a response to unexpected but potentially disastrous events and disruptions. In both of these contexts, issues of distributive and epistemic justice are intertwined. What kinds of knowledge we think will be important later, where we think such knowledge will come from, and how we intend to use it when needed are questions that we tend to answer without also thinking about the ethical implications of those answers. Who do we think should contribute knowledge, when we are developing strategies for an uncertain future? And what kinds of outcomes are we aiming towards, implicitly as well as explicitly? Are they just? I am excited to see how the interdisciplinary work being done by the people involved in the Resilience Engineering Centre takes up these concerns along the way.