Education and training

We offer education and training in technology assessment, user involvement, and ethics, focusing mostly on demonstrating the added value of social research to scientists and engineers. Recent courses include:

NanoNextNL Risk Analysis and Technology Assessment (RATA) courses and coaching programme (2013-2016). Together with Ad Ragas from the Radboud University Nijmegen, we have developed a series of courses and a coaching programme on risk analysis and technology assessment (RATA) for young researchers within NanoNextNL, an innovation programme for nanotechnologies, coordinated by STW in the Netherlands. The courses were part of a broader RATA programme within NanoNextNL, designed to encourage early reflection on questions of risk analysis and technology assessment. In the RATA courses, the researchers explored the RATA dimensions of their own research. The courses provided brief overviews of risk analysis and technology assessment, but most of the time was spent on group work, where the students discussed potentially relevant RATA questions with invited experts from the RATA programme. This demonstrated – sometimes to the surprise of the students – the relevance of questions of future implementation to the research at hand. The early consideration of these questions helped students to think through the potential future applications of their work. See the RATA course flyer for further information.  The coaching programme followed up on these courses by offering support to young NanoNextNL  researchers to integrate RATA in their PhD thesis (see the RATA coaching flyer).

One-day course on user involvement in medical research for the Centre for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM), organised together with Maud Radstake of the Center for Society and Genomics and Henny Bruinewoud of CTMM in 2012.

A masterclass on the normative dimensions of PhD supervision for the Graduate School of Delft University of Technology (2012), in collaboration with Marike Weltje-Poldervaart of OC Focus at TU Delft .

A series of advanced courses in Oxford for the European project Nanobio-RAISE (2007). The courses were organised as part of the European project Nanobio-RAISE, a 6th Framework Programme Science and Society Co-ordination Action funded by the European Commission combining science communication with ethics research in nanobiotechnology. The courses brought together some twenty-five postdoctoral researchers and faculty from a range of nanotechnology related fields and disciplines, combining lectures on nanotechnology and its ethical, legal and social dimensions with practical and hands-on training. More informetaion about the course programme and its results are available in the Nanoethics paper: Multidisciplinary Engagement with Nanoethics Through Education (2009).

Ethics training for biology students at the University of Amsterdam (2005 – 2012). These courses, developed by Henriette Bout of Conscience, introduce biology students to the moral dilemmas that they may encounter in their work as a biologist, and helps them to base their judgment on sound ethical reasoning.