DIGYMATEX Project appoints four leading researchers to its Ethics Advisory Board

The EU-funded DIGYMATEX project for investigating how digital maturity impacts children’s behaviour with information and communications technologies (ICT) has named four highly esteemed researchers in related fields to its Ethics Advisory Board (EAB), in line with guidelines established to ensure a high ethical standard for all Horizon 2020 projects.

As a research project involving the online behaviour of minors, working closely with the EAB to ensure that research conducted meets the highest ethical standards and to maintain alertness regarding potential issues that may arise along the way is of particular relevance to DIGYMATEX. 

“Ethics needs to permeate all parts of the project ‘culture’ to be effective. In the interests of raising and maintaining ethical awareness, all aspects of the project’s activities require the maintenance of an ethical perspective,” according to the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 outline.

The four researchers DIGYMATEX appointed to its EAB are Anja Achtziger of Zeppelin University, Lapo Mola of the Université Côte Azure, Sakari Lemola of Bielefeld University, and Terhi-Anna Wilska of the University of Jyväskylä. Each Ethics Advisor chosen can point to a prolific career of relevant academic achievements.

Prof. Anja Achtziger of Zeppelin UniversityCurrently holding the Chair in Social and Economic Psychology at Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany, Anja Achtziger serves additionally as associate editor of the Journal of Economic Psychology and deputy speaker of the coordination committee of the Federal Government of Germany’s Consumer Research Network.

Achtziger graduated in Psychology from the Technical University of Darmstadt in 1997 and received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Konstanz in 2003, where she then worked as a Postdoc and Temporary Professor of Social Psychology and Motivation. 

Achtziger was speaker of the Psychoeconomics research unit funded by the German Research Foundation from March 2018 to December 2019, and Visiting Professor of Psychology at New York University Abu Dhabi in from August 2019 to May 2020. Achtziger’s research focuses on decision-making, algorithm aversion and appreciation, self-control, and motivation, involving interdisciplinary collaboration with researchers from economics, management science, consumer research, computer science, cognitive sciences, and ethics.

Lapo Mola of SKEMA Business SchoolLapo Mola is Associate Professor at the Digitalisation Academy of Université Côte Azure (GREDEG)’s SKEMA Business School in Sophia Antipolis, France, where he is also a member of the Knowledge, Technology and Organisation (KTO) Research Centre. His current research projects focus on the impact of information infrastructures (including internet platforms) on organisational design and inter-organisational relationships; ICT diffusion, and related matters. He has published in the European Journal of Information Systems, European Journal of Operational Research, Information Systems Journal, Production Planning and Control Electronic Markets and the Journal of Decision Systems.

Mola is an active member of the Association for Information Systems (AIS), and organised its Italian chapter conference itAIS 2005, as well as the European Conference on Information Systems ECIS 2009 and the Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems MCIS 2014.

Mola received his Laurea (B.Sc.) in Economics from the University of Verona, Italy, and later earned his Phd at IULM University in Milan, before being appointed as Assistant Professor at the University of Verona, where he also coordinated the Master in Business Intelligence and Knowledge Management programme. Subsequently he coordinated an Executive Master in ICT Management programme.

Professionally, Mola has served as consultant and project manager for more than thirty Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation projects, analysing and reconfiguring business processes and redefining organisational  structures.

Sakari Lemola of Bielefeld UniversitySakari Lemola is professor at the Bielefeld University in Germany and reader at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. He graduated from the University of Bern, Switzerland, with a degree in Psychology in 2002, before earning his PhD in Psychology in 2007 at the University of Basel, where he completed a Post-Doctoral research degree in 2014.

His research focuses primarily on positive development at different stages of the life cycle. In particular, he is interested in the relationship between positive development and early life adversities, sleep patterns, and emotional support in the partner relationship. In a related vein, he is interested in the prevention of early life adversities and the consequences of insufficient and poor sleep, particularly during adolescence.

Terhi-Anna Wilska of University of JyväskyläTerhi-Anna Wilska is Professor of Sociology at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, where she researches consumption, consumer culture, ICT and digitalisation, lifestyles, children and youth, ageing and life course, well-being and wellness, as well as sustainability in consumption and everyday life. Particularly relevant ongoing projects include DigiConsumers – Learning to be Consumers in Technologically Driven Consumer Society, through the CULT-programme of the Research Council at the Academy of Finland, and #Agents – Young People’s Agency in Social Media, through the Academy of Finland’s MediaSoc programme.

Wilska earned her M.Sc. in Marketing in 1992 and Lis.Sc. in Economic Sociology in 1995 from Finland’s Turku School of Economics, and completed her PhD in Sociology at the University of Lancaster, United Kingdom, in 1999, after which she served as Professor of Economic Sociology at the Turku School of Economics. She has worked for the Finnish Youth Research Network, the National Consumer Research Center and the Population Federation of Finland.

The Horizon 2020 EAB guidelines stipulate that implementation of each programme and its related research activities must respect ethical principles, including those formulated in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and opinions of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, such as: protection of human dignity and human life, personal data and privacy, animals and the environment. Additional documents to potentially take into account include the Helsinki Declaration, the Convention of the Council of Europe on Human Rights and Bio-medicine, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and any relevant World Health Organisation (WHO) resolutions. 

“Meeting the challenge of making the EU the most competitive and dynamic knowledge economy in the world requires that innovative research be funded, but it is precisely such research that may pose the most complex ethical challenges,” the Horizon 2020 outline stressed.

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