Philosophy of Responsible Innovation 2022

Zigzag-DNAThe Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW), Delft University of Technology and Wageningen University invite PhD candidates in philosophy to register for the course “Philosophy of Responsible Innovation” to take place on January 12 – 21, 2022.

Organizing university

TU Delft and Wageningen University


January 12 - 21, 2022



Type of activity

Online Course

Primary target group

PhD candidates (alfa, gamma, beta) who start their research in the field of Responsible Research and Innovation, and PhD students in philosophy who want to learn more about philosophical and ethical reflection in the field of science and technology development. Students from universities outside The Netherlands are encouraged to subscribe for the course as well.

If places available, also open to

ReMa students

Application/registration deadline

December 1st, 2021

About the topic

This course discusses the main philosophical issues in relation to Responsible Innovation, an emerging concept in the EU context which highlights the relevance of social-ethical issues in research and innovation practices. This emerging concept calls for philosophical reflection on the nature, scope and applicability of responsibility and innovation in innovation practices in general, and the way social-ethical issues can be applied and addressed in specific fields like business, healthcare and energy in particular. Topics that will be covered include the nature of responsibility in responsible innovation, the role of societal values in innovation and value sensitive design, philosophical reflections on the role of knowledge and risk in innovation, constructive technology assessment and governance of responsible innovation, Responsible Innovation in the public sector (healthcare), responsible innovation in the private sector.

Students get to know some of the main positions in relation to philosophical issues in responsible innovation, the main arguments in the relevant debates and insight in the dilemma’s which appear in the practical application of responsible innovation in the public and private sector. Although the focus is on the philosophical and ethical issues raised by responsible innovation, we will also touch upon some more fundamental philosophical issues raised by responsible innovation. This includes issues like:

  • The nature of responsibility in light of the unpredictability of the future impact of innovations
  • The philosophical assumptions of the innovation paradigm
  • The way (responsible) innovations affect experience and praxis
  • Value incommensurability, value pluralism and the trade-offs between values in responsible innovation

Aim / objective

To become acquainted with the main philosophical issues in relation to Responsible Innovation.


Day 1 (12 January 2022): Introduction to Responsible Research and Innovation (Swierstra & Boenink)

Day 2 (13 January 2022): Value Sensitive Design (vd Hoven & vd Poel)

Day 3 (14 January 2022): Conceptions of Responsibility in Relation to RRI I (Zwart) & Philosophy of Innovation (Blok)

Day 4 (17 January 2022): AIRR Framework and RRI in smart farming (Macnaghten & vd Burg)

Day 5 (18 January 2022): Conceptions of Responsibility in Relation to RRI II (vd Poel/Blok)

Day 6 (19 January 2022): Postphenomenological analysis of RRI & Stakeholder Engagement (Verbeek & Robaey)

Day 7 (21 January 2022): Final Presentatioins (Blok & vd Poel)


  • dr. Tsjalling Swierstra, Maastricht University (day 1)
  • Marianne Boenink, Radboud University Medical Center (day 1)
  • Vincent Blok, Wageningen University (day 3, 5 and 7)
  • dr. ir. Ibo van de Poel, Technical University Delft (day 2, 5 and 7)
  • Simone van der Burg, Wageningen University (day 4)
  • dr. Hub Zwart, Erasmus University Rotterdam (day 5)
  • dr. Jeroen van den Hoven, Technical University Delft (day 2)
  • dr. Phil Macnaghten, Wageningen University (day 4)
  • Zoe Robaey, Wageningen University (day 6)
  • Peter-Paul Verbeek, Twente University (day 6)

Required preparations

The participants are expected to read all the assigned literature, to do assignments and to actively participate in the discussions. They also have to give a final presentation (more information about the assignment will be provided during the first lecture).

It is obligatory to attend all sessions of the course.

Certificate / credit points

Study load is the equivalent of 5 ECT


The course is free for PhD candidates who are a member of the 4TU Center for Ethics and Technology and/or OZSW.

The course is also free for ReMa students who are a member of the OZSW and/or 4TU Center for Ethics and Technology, but they can not register directly. They can send an email to

Non-members pay a tuition fee of €300.

How to apply / register

You can register for  the course through the form below. Closing date is December 1st, 2021

ReMa students who would like to participate, can now register themselves via the registration form. There is no waiting list any longer.

Registration/application form

You can register for the course here.

Please check our cancellation and registration policy here.

Cancellation and registration policy


Wageningen University – Vincent Blok (
Delft University of Technology – Ibo van de Poel (