Philosophy of Responsible Innovation 2023

logo universiteit wageningenThe Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW), the 4TU Center for Ethics and Technology, Wageningen University and TU Delft invite PhD students in philosophy to register for the course Philosophy of Responsible Innovation to take place on January 11 – 20, 2023.

Organizing university

Wageningen University and TU Delft


January 11-20, 2023


Wageningen & Delft

Type of activity

PhD course

Primary target group

PhD candidates (alfa, gamma, beta) who start their research in the field of Ethics of Technology and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), and PhD candidates 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 10, 2022

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.


Preliminary Program

  • Day 1 (11 January 2023): Introduction to Responsible Research and Innovation (Blok, Swierstra & Boenink)
  • Day 2 (12 January 2023): Value Sensitive Design (vd Hoven & vd Poel)
  • Day 3 (13 January 2023): Conceptions of Responsibility in Relation to RRI I (Zwart) & Philosophy of Innovation (Blok)

Week 2 (Wageningen)

  • Day 4 (16 January 2023): RRI in smart farming and Innovation as Ethos (vd Burg & MacNaghten)
  • Day 5 (17 January 2023): Conceptions of Responsibility in Relation to RRI II (vd Poel/Blok)
  • Day 6 (18 January 2023): Postphenomenological analysis of RRI & Stakeholder participation (Verbeek & Krabbenburg)
  • Day 7 (20 January 2023): Final Presentatioins (Blok & vd Poel)


  • dr. Tsjalling Swierstra, Maastricht University (day 1)
  • dr. Marianne Boenink, Radboud University Medical Center (day 1)
  • Vincent Blok, Wageningen University (day 1, 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 3)
  • dr. Jeroen van den Hoven, Technical University Delft (day 2)
  • dr. Phil Macnaghten, Wageningen University (day 4)
  • Lotte Krabbenborg, Radboud University Nijmegen (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.

Last updated on June 10, 2022

Certificate / credit points

For this course participants can earn a certificate after successful completion. Please note, however, that the OZSW is not accredited to reward students with credits/ECTS directly. The study load is mentioned on the certificate, which can usually be exchanged for ‘real’ credits (ECTS) at your home university. For more info please see The study load for this activity is: 5 ECTS


The course is free for:

  • PhD students who are a member of the 4TU.Ethics graduate school;
  • PhD students who are a member of the OZSW;
  • Research Master students who are a member of the OZSW.
  • MSc students enrolled in the PSTS master of the University of Twente;

Other participants pay a tuition fee of 300 euro for the course. Foreign participants are welcome, but are themselves responsible for arranging their travel and accommodation in Delft or Wageningen.

Please note that there might be the option to register as a member of the OZSW which would give you free entrance to this and all other OZSW activities. Please check if you are eligible here:

How to apply / register

PhD candidates and ReMa students can register through this link.

If registration has been closed because the maximum amount of participants has been reached, you can submit your name to the waiting list by sending an email to Please also indicate whether you are a ReMa student or PhD candidate and whether you are a member of the OZSW or not.

Cancellation and registration policy


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