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


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Zoë Robaey

Wageningen University & Research
Social sciences
Assistant professor


Zoë Robaey is Assistant Professor in Ethics of Technology at the Philosophy Group of Wageningen University. Her work investigates moral responsibility under conditions of uncertainty in the field of biotechnology in agriculture. In 2019, she received a VENI grant from the Dutch Research Organization for her research on the virtues for innovation in practice. In this work, she combines conceptual and empirical investigations to develop a notion of responsibility under uncertainty that builds on the practices of both scientists and farmers.

In addition to her work at Wageningen University, Zoë Robaey is part of the Management Team of the 4TU Centre for Ethics and Technology, Associate Editor at Science and Engineering Ethics , and Newsletter Editor of the European Society for Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to work with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management on common projects, and as an independent researcher. She has also been as active advisor local chapters of the international Competition for the Genetically Engineered Machine.

Prior to joining Wageningen University, Zoë Robaey was postdoctoral researcher at the Biotechnology and Society Group at Delft University of Technology, working on the project Inclusive Biobased Innovations with Lotte Asveld (2017-2019). She also worked as a researcher on synthetic biology at the Rathenau Institute on the SYNENERGENE project (2016-2017). She defended her PhD thesis titled ‘Seeding Moral Responsibility in Ownership: How to Deal with Uncertain Risks of GMOs’ in January 2017 at Delft University of Technology. Her thesis was part of Ibo van de Poel’s VICI project ‘New Technologies as Social Experiments: Conditions for Morally Responsible Experimentation‘. Before becoming an ethicist, Zoë Robaey has had a multi-disciplinary training in Biology (2007), STS (2008), and Public Policy (2011).

As an academic engaged in debates on the future of agriculture, Zoë Robaey often participates and presents at public events such as at Pakhuis de Zwijger, or de Balie, on the use of genetically modified organisms. In 2019, she was one of top 5 nominees for the price Wetenschapstalent organized by the New Scientist. In 2017, she was featured as one of the Young Philosophers to present her work for a broad audience at Brainwash Festival.