Julia Rijssenbeek is a PhD candidate in Ethics of Technology at the Philosophy Group of Wageningen University. She explores the ethical and ontological implications of cell factories. Synthetic micro-organisms might become the main vessel for farms of the future, producing not only food but also drugs, energy, and even materials, disrupting means of production as we know them. She is interested in how this turn to microbes will challenge philosophical concepts and change our values. The research is part of the NWO Gravitation program Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies (ESDT) of the four technical universities in the Netherlands.
In addition to her work at Wageningen University, Julia is a researcher at FreedomLab Thinktank. This interdisciplinary think tank conducts scenario research in geopolitics and technology in order to understand societal change. The focus of Julia’s work is on the future of food. With her research, she informs policy makers (Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs on a food strategy for the Netherlands) and engages in public debates.