Prof. Dr. Marcello Ienca
Deputy Director of the Institute
Marcello Ienca is a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Ethics of AI and Neuroscience at the TUM School of Medicine. He is also Deputy Director of the TUM Institute for History and Ethics of Medicine.
Prof. Ienca's research focuses on the ethical, legal, social, and policy implications of artificial intelligence (AI), neurotechnology, and other emerging technologies. He and his team in the AI & Neuroscience Ethics Lab use both theoretical and empirical methods to explore the conceptual foundations and practical requirements for responsible innovation at the brain-machine interface.
Ienca received his PhD summa cum laude from the University of Basel in 2018 and won the Best Dissertation Award of the Faculty of Medicine (sponsored by the Goldschmidt-Jacobson Foundation). He then worked as a postdoc, senior researcher and group leader at ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne. In 2021, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Uehiro Center for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford.
Prof. Ienca is actively involved in science and technology policy in international organizations and professional associations. In particular, he is the Head of Neuroethics at the International Brain Initiative and a member of the Neurotechnology Network of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He has also been appointed as an expert to the Council of Europe's Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence, the Bioethics Committee, and the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Prof. Ienca has written reports for the OECD, the Council of Europe, and the European Parliament Committee on the Future of Science and Technology. He is a board member of the Italian Society for Neuroethics (SINe), former board member and current member of the Nominating Committee of the International Society for Neuroethics (INS). Ienca is a member of the editorial board of several scientific journals such as. Neuroethics, Bioethica Forum and Frontiers in Neuroergonomics.
Ienca has received several awards for social responsibility in science and technology, including the Vontobel Award for Ageing Research (Switzerland), the Pato de Carvalho Award (Portugal), the Sonia Lupien Award (Canada), the Paul Schotsmans Award from the European Association of Centres of Medical Ethics (EACME), and the Plaque of Honor for Data Protection from the Italian Data Protection Authority. He is the author of a monograph, several edited volumes, 60 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, several book chapters, and is a regular contributor to Scientific American. His research has been published in scientific journals such as. Neuron, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Machine Intelligenceand Nature Medicine as well as in media such as Nature, The New Yorker, The Guardian, The Times, Die Welt, The Independent, Financial Times and others published.
In addition, Prof. Ienca is strongly committed to open science, outreach, and civic engagement. He advocates a holistic view of research that is not limited to academia, but also embraces an open approach to science communication, outreach, and public engagement. Among other things, he is an open science and open data enthusiast, a human rights activist, and a committed anti-racist. He believes that there can be no ethical technological innovation without global justice.
Professor Ienca has a second affiliation at the EPFL (Switzerland), where he leads the SNSF-funded project "HybridMinds" and is the Ethics Group for Intelligent Systems at the College of Humanities (CDH) leads.