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Ethics and Technology
TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University
Ethics and Technology


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Peter-Paul Verbeek

University of Amsterdam
Rector Magnificus


Starting from October 2022, Peter-Paul Verbeek is Rector Magnificus and member of the Executive Board of the University of Amsterdam.

Peter-Paul Verbeek (1970) was distinguished professor (universiteitshoogleraar) of philosophy of technology at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Twente. He is chair of the Philosophy of Human-Technology Relations research group and co-director of the DesignLab of the University of Twente. He is also honorary professor of Techno-Anthropology at Aalborg University, including its Copenhagen campus. His research focuses on the philosophy of human-technology relations, in relation to philosophical theory, ethical reflection, and practices of design and innovation.

In 2014, he received a VICI award from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (a personal grant for innovative research) to develop a theory of technological mediation, aiming to theorize how technologies play a mediating role in scientific practices, ethical frameworks, and religion, and how this mediating role of technologies can be included in design practices. Earlier he received a VIDI-award (2008), for studying human enhancement technologies and the blurring boundaries between humans and technologies, and a VENI-award (2004), for studying the moral significance of technology, and its implications for design. From 2010 until 2012 he held the Socrates chair of philosophy at Delft University of Technology; in 2006 he was guest professor of philosophy of technology at Aarhus University, Denmark.

Verbeek is chairperson of the UNESCO World Commission for the Ethics of Science and Technology (COMEST). He is also a member of the board of the Rathenau Institute, the Dutch Council for the Humanities (KNAW), the Supervisory Board of TNO(Dutch Organization for applied scientific research), the program council for Responsible Innovation (NWO – Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research), the Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO, the KNAW Committee for the Freedom of Scientific Pursuit, and the Sector Plan Committee for Social Science and Humanities of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science. Between 2013 and 2015 he was President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology; between 2011 and 2013 he was chairperson of ‘The Young Academy’, an independent division of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Academy for Technology and Innovation (AcTI) and of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences (KHMW). In 2012, he received the Borghgraef Prize (KU Leuven) in biomedical ethics. In 2016, he was awarded the World Technology Award in Ethics.

Peter-Paul Verbeek is author of Moralizing Technology: Understanding and Designing the Morality of Things (University of Chicago Press, 2011), in which he analyzes the moral significance of technologies, and its implications for ethical theory and for design practices. He also published What Things Do: Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency, and Design (Penn State University Press, 2005), which investigates how technologies mediate human actions and experiences, with applications to industrial design. He is co-editor of the volumes Postphenomenological Investigations: Essays on Human-Technology Relations (Lexington 2015, with Robert Rosenberger), The Moral Status of Technical Artefacts (Springer 2014, with Peter Kroes), and User Behavior and Technology Design – Shaping Sustainable Relations between Consumers and Technologies (Springer 2006, with Adriaan Slob).

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