In 1990, simultaneously with the establishment of a National Committee for Medical Research Ethics (NEM) and a National Committee for the Social Sciences and the Humanities (NESH), a third committee was set up to work on research ethics in science and technology, including agriculture and fisheries.
Members of the National Committee for Research Ethics in Science and Technology (NENT) are appointed by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The Committee has an interdisciplinary composition and also has lay representatives.
During its first few years, NENT concentrated its efforts on technology assessment, a task that was eventually taken over by the Norwegian Board of Technology, established in 1999. The committee provides counsels and recommendations concerning concrete research projects. In addition, the committee organizes seminars and publishes reports and books on research ethics issues.
The committee has developed ethical guidelines for science and technology, first published by the committee in 2008, and revised in 2015. The guidelines include a proposal for a scientific oath which endorses the view that researchers have a responsibility for the societal consequences of their research. In 2009, the committee launched the report Risk and Uncertainty, which debates the concepts "risk" and "uncertainty". The background for the report was the Guidelines for research ethics in science and technology. The guidelines refer to the concepts of risk, uncertainty and the precautionary principle. Earlier, the committee has also worked on the precautionary principle, and published the report, Føre-var prinsippet: Mellom forskning og politikk (The Precautionary Principle between Research and Politics).
In 2018, the committee published separate guidelines for the use of animals in research: Ethical Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Research.
In 2019 it published an opinion on research ethics and artificial intelligence.
Terms of reference for the National Committee for Research Ethics in Science and Technology
The committee is appointed in accordance with the act on the organization of research ethical work (The Research Ethics Act – Forskningsetikkloven), with appurtenant provisions.
The committee is advisory and independent in professional matters.
Hallvard Fossheim (chair)
Ågot Aakra (vice chair)
Fred Espen Benth
Hanne Pernille Gulbrandsen
Gorm Idar Johansen
Sissel Beate Rønning
Elisabeth Strand Vigtel (Lay member)
Siri Granum Carson