Philosophy of Responsible Innovation

taking place in January, 2018 in Delft and Wageningen (The Netherlands).

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
Practical information
The course will take place from 10 to 12 January and from 15 to 19 January, in 2018. More information and a registration form can be found on the event’s webpage. The registration deadline is December 15th.

The course is free for:
PhD students who are a member of the 4TU Center for Ethics and Technology and/or OZSW;
Research Master students who are a member of the 4TU Center for Ethics and Technology and/or OZSW;
All others pay a tuition fee of 250 euros.

The course is mainly aimed at PhD students (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.

The course is organised by Vincent Blok (vincent.blok[at] Please contact secretariaat[at] for any practical inquiries.