Having a background in engineering, philosophy and law, the SPT community feels like a natural home for me. As an engineer, I went through all the attitudes one could possibly have towards technology: from naïve techno-optimism to techno-fatalism. My current view on technology, which I hope never to lose, is one of curiosity. This also prompted me to pursue a degree in philosophy. In 2011, I defended my PhD thesis on responsibility in research teams at the Philosophy Section of Delft University of Technology, where I am appointed Associate Professor.
My current research focuses on moral and distributive issues in water governance and the governance of technological risks. My aim is to understand the relationship between technology, human beings and our environment and, from that insight, to contribute to the grand challenges of the 21st century. I find the notion of resilience especially helpful here, as the term is not only applicable to ecosystems but also to engineering systems or society at large. But, as a philosopher, I do not want to uncritically adopt new fashionable terms without a good understanding what these terms actually appeal to and what they imply in practice. I am therefore most happy if I can combine conceptual analysis with empirical investigations in my research.
In Europe, I see an increasing demand for interdisciplinary research, like in the current funding schemes on responsible research and innovation. This will probably also have an impact on the type of research that philosophers of technology can spend their time on in the coming years. I think that, as philosophers, we will need to challenge ourselves in developing new methodologies as well as new methodological standards to make this interdisciplinary research successful.
Personal website: www.ethicsandtechnology.eu/doorn