Our common identity regarding research is defined by two features:
Life Sciences and Society
First, we share an orientation towards improving the quality of life through enhancing the interaction between the life sciences and society. Thus, a key element of our research is interdisciplinary and action-oriented. Often, our research takes problems defined within life science domains as the starting point for research. Then, we test forms of deliberation and communication that are geared towards making processes of technical and social innovation more responsible, responsive and democratic.
Second, we connect social science and humanities approaches through a shared interest in societal ‘meaning making’. We study how problems, solutions and future orientations are constructed in pluralist societies, and how competing meanings, values and views of reality are made to count in societal decision-making and change. In this endeavour, the Strategic Communication group focuses on understanding meaning making through the lens of inter-human communication and behaviour change, while the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation group adds an analysis of how knowledge and discourse arises from the interactions between the social and the bio-material world. The Philosophy group adds critical and normative reflection on how to deal with values in a pluralist society, emphasizing the importance of ambivalence and collectivity.