October 18, 2021 - Wageningen, the Netherlands

Behavior, technology and ethics: from Inspiration to sustainable Innovation

Lucas Noldus has been appointed professor of Behavior, information technology and innovation at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. On 8 October he gave his inaugural lecture entitled “Behavior, technology and ethics: From inspiration to sustainable innovation”.


In front of a full auditorium and an extensive online audience, Prof. Dr. Lucas Noldus shared his fascination for human and animal behavior, explained how technology helps researchers to study, understand, and influence behavior, and discussed that only with responsible use of laboratory animals, responsible data collection from humans, and responsible use of AI, scientists and entrepreneurs can realize sustainable innovations that contribute to a better world.

oratie lucas speech

Watch Lucas' inauguration speech in this (English subtitled) video: Behavior, technology and ethics: from inspiration to sustainable innovation .


Knowledge of the behavior of parasitic wasps helps researchers to biologically control insect pests, while measuring the feeding behavior of herbivores is important for the development of resistant crops. Mice and rats are an animal model for developmental disorders such as autism, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Automatic measurement of their behavior helps us to phenotype mutants and develop new drugs. Digital video technology also comes in handy when studying human behavior, such as the analysis of facial expressions or remote heart rate measurement. Inertial sensors and the Smart Floor with RFID transponders are interesting developments for the measurement of movement and gait. For babies, a Smart Baby Suit is being developed for automatic recording of posture, movement, respiration and heart rate.

Developers of systems for biometric data collection from human subjects should be aware of the ethical risks associated with such systems. Developers should include ethical boundaries in the design and practical application of their tools. The combination of technology and behavioral research has unlimited applications. But only with responsible use of laboratory animals, responsible data collection from humans and responsible use of AI we can realize sustainable innovations that contribute to a better world.


About the professorship

Within the Donders Institute of Brain, Cognition and Behavior at Radboud University, Lucas Noldus carries out research into methods and techniques for automatic recording of human and animal behavior. He also lectures in a variety of courses, from methods in neuroscience and animal ecology to product development, knowledge valorization and the application of artificial intelligence in behavioral research on humans and animals.

oratie lucas stairs professors

Congratulations

We, friends and colleagues from Noldus Information Technology would like to congratulate Lucas with his professorship!