prof.dr. MF (Marcel) Verweij

prof.dr. MF (Marcel) Verweij

Emeritus Professor

Marcel Verweij holds the chair of philosophy at Wageningen University. His group is part of Communication, Philosophy and Centre for Integrative Development in the Department of Social Sciences, Wageningen UR.

Before Verweij came to Wageningen he has worked as philosopher and ethicist at Utrecht University, the University of Amsterdam, the University Medical Centre Nijmegen, and as visiting scholar at the universities of Stellenbosch, Keele, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He was coordinator of the international Master program in Applied Ethics, and has taught ethics for a variety of student philosophy, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, food sciences; but also professionals (nursing, medicine, public health, occupational health).

His research and teaching cover a very broad area in applied philosophy and ethics, including animal ethics and business ethics, but his primary focus is public health. Together with Angus Dawson (University of Sydney) he initiated public health ethics as a new area of studies in moral philosophy. They are founding Editors-in-Chief of Public Health Ethics, a journal published by Oxford University Press. The journal is now the centre of a flourishing interdisciplinary scientific field.

Throughout his work, Marcel Verweij has built bridges between philosophical theory and practical moral problems in professional areas or public policy. This has resulted in in-depth analyses of problems in public health, such how far should professionals go in promoting health of citizens; what responsibilities do citizens have to take precautions against infection; and how should governments allocate scarce medical resources during an influenza pandemic.

These are questions about health that go far beyond a medical-professional perspective; they concern responsibilities of all societal actors to contribute to health and quality of life.

His philosophical approach to practical societal issues is also the key in various consultative roles, for example for the World Health Organization. Since 2005, Verweij is member of the Health Council of the Netherlands. He has been involved in more than 20 advisory reports for the Minister of Health, including reports on collective vaccination, screening, preconception counselling, special policies for high-risk groups, and expert reports on Q-Fever and Mexican Flu.

Marcel Verweij participated in several research ethics committees, notably in the area of food TNO, Unilever Vlaardingen, and Wageningen University. Currently he is member of the Central Research Ethics Advisory Group of Unilever, which advises the company in its global research ethics policy. At Wageningen UR he chairs the Social Sciences Ethics Committee.