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·         Institute for Science, Innovation & Society (ISIS) (Director of Education)

·         Department of Philosophy and Science Studies (Chair)

·         Centre for Society and the Life Sciences (CSG)  (Scientific director)





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Bijdragen Vox





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Research statement:

We are experiencing a period of scientific revolution: a dramatic increase in scope, scale and pace of scientific research. Notably the contemporary life sciences challenge our understanding of nature, life, technology and the role and place of human beings on a very fundamental level. As Hegel argued, there is more philosophy in scientific research than scientists are usually aware of or willing to acknowledge. Scientific breakthroughs entail ‘narcissistic offenses’ (Freud), as traditional human self-images prove difficult to uphold, but at the same time, due to new developments in technology and science, our sway over nature seems to increase, down to the molecular level, and up to the point of becoming uncanny. We are on the verge of opening up a new chapter in the history of life and human existence. The scientific ‘will to know’ is driven by a desire to control and refurbish life, but at the same time we are awed by the bewildering complexity of living systems that continues to escape us. This basic dynamics (‘science and its discontents’) is probed in close dialogue with scientific research teams working in cutting-edge fields such as genomics, synthetic biology and brain research, as well as with future scientists (science students), but also in societal debate, through mutual learning exercises (on local, national and international levels). Special attention is given to genres of the imagination (science novels, cinema, drama, art) as windows into the dynamics and (future) impact of contemporary scientific research practices.  


Prof. Dr Hub Zwart
Radboud University Nijmegen (RU Nijmegen)
Faculty of Science (FNWI)

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