Landelijke agenda

Donderdag de 13e februari 2014, des namiddags om 4.00 uur, zal de Hooggeleerde Vrouwe dr. S. van de Vathorst, vanwege de Nederlandse Vereniging voor een Vrijwillig Levenseinde benoemd tot Bijzonder hoogleraar Kwaliteit van de laatste levensfase en van sterven, haar hoogleraarsambt openlijk aanvaarden door het uitspreken van een rede, getiteld:

De goede dood

in de Aula der Universiteit, ingang Singel 411, hoek Spui.

Tot het bijwonen van deze plechtigheid worden alle beoefenaren van de wetenschap en alle belangstellenden uitgenodigd door de Rector Magnificus prof. dr. D.C. van den Boom.

In de onmiddellijke omgeving van het Spui is nauwelijks parkeerruimte; de Aula is bereikbaar met de trams 1, 2, 4, 5, 9 ,16, 24 en 25, halte Spui.







Responsible innovation in a multiple world – the case of early diagnostics for Alzheimer’s Disease


‘Responsible research and innovation’ is a recent ambition in research and innovation policies in Europe as well as the USA. In this workshop, we will examine the meaning and possibilities of ‘responsible innovation’ in the case of the current technological innovations of diagnostics for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). We will explore how to characterize the dynamics of these developments and the concomitant discourses about ethical and societal implications.


The workshop will address four themes:


1. Responsible innovation and biomedical R&D


Research into innovative diagnostics for AD, like biomedical R&D more generally, is often guided by widely voiced goals and views of the future of medicine. The focus on biomarkers and molecular processes of disease, the ambition to predict health risks and disease processes, and the aim to ‘personalize’ treatment are some of the visions that circulate widely at present. Although these visions have a speculative character, they do have a very real impact on R&D practice. In this sub session we want to examine how current research on AD is framed by these more general visions, how this affects researchers’ and clinicians’ understanding of AD, and to what extent this connection between future visions and R&D practice enables and/or hinders responsible innovation.


Speakers theme 1:


Marianne Boenink, Assistant professor in philosophy and ethics of biomedical technology, Department of Philosophy, University of Twente


Peter Whitehouse, Professor of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University


Shirlene Badger, Research associate, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge


and Richard Milne, Research associate, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge


2. Responsible innovation and current diagnostic practices of AD


Within the domain of health care, the discourse of responsible innovation tends to discuss everyday health care practices only with regard to the instrumental value they have for the greater goods that responsible innovation should lead to, such as ‘better health for the nation’ or ‘improved quality of life for the individual’. In this sub session, in contrast, we aim to de-mystify practices of diagnosing people with memory complaints when thinking about how to responsibly innovate Alzheimer’s diagnostics. Questions we want to address in this session: What values are at stake in current diagnostic practices of Alzheimer’s disease? What does this imply for the introduction of new diagnostic tools for Alzheimer’s disease? How can qualitative studies of diagnostic practices of Alzheimer’s disease inform practices of design and innovation? How to re-think the concept of responsible innovation in the field of health care by being attentive to every day clinical practices?


Speakers theme 2:


Anna Laura van der Laan, PhD-candidate, Department of Philosophy, University of Twente


Julia Swallow, PhD-candidate, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds


Tiago Moreira, Deputy Head of School (Education); Senior Lecturer, Durham University


Jeanette Pols, Professor in Social Theory, Humanism and Materialities, University of Amsterdam


3. Responsible innovation and multiple  (non-biomedical) practices of AD


Alzheimer’s Disease has many different meanings and is constituted in many different practices (e.g. a degenerative condition of the brain, a condition a person and their relatives need to learn to cope with psychosocially, a socially charged label, a challenge for the economic and health care system). In view of this multiplicity, early diagnostics for AD is likely to have impacts on multiple practices as well. How important is it to align these different views and practices, in particular in view of emerging developments in diagnostic technologies? If so, what would be good ways to improve such aligning?


Speakers theme 3:


Yvonne Cuijpers, PhD-candidate, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development University of Utrecht


Anthea Innes, Professor Health and Social Care Research, Bournemouth University


Annette Leibing, Professor in Medical Anthropology, University of Montreal


4. Responsible innovation of diagnostics


Diagnostic innovation is increasingly perceived as an institutional interplay in which many heterogeneous stakeholders interact in complex ways. Interaction between users and producers of diagnostic technologies takes place both in laboratory and clinic, and in the wider society. There the application of diagnostic technologies not only meets a medical need, but is also accompanied by increased health awareness and uncertainty, multiple values, and the increased diagnostic need of citizens due to the diagnostic possibilities. Important questions are then: what constitutes responsible innovation in the context of diagnostics? And what would this mean for current developments in diagnostics for AD?


Speakers theme 4:


Ellen Moors, Professor of Sustainable Innovation, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, University of Utrecht


Fiona Miller, Associate professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto


Sally Wyatt, Professor of Digital Cultures in Development, Department of Arts and Social Sciences, Technology & Society studies, University Maastricht; Programme Leader of the e-Humanities Group, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences


and Claudia Egher, Master of Science, Cultures of Arts, Science, and Technology, University of Maastricht


By exploring issues of responsible innovation against the background of the multiple worlds of Alzheimer’s disease,  we ultimately hope to contribute to thinking about responsible innovation in complex and changing worlds more generally.




The workshop is funded by the NWO program Responsible Innovation