Vincent Blok (1970) is a Dutch philosopher working as professor at the Wageningen University (The Netherlands). He is also scientific director of the 4TU Centre for Ethics of Technology, a collaboration of the four technical universities in the Netherlands. In 2005 he received his PhD degree in philosophy at Leiden University with a specialization in philosophy of technology. From 2006-2010, he was CEO of an international research institute in the field of sustainable agriculture, nutrition and health care. Together with seven PhD candidates and four Post-docs, he reflects on the meaning of disruptive technologies for the human condition and its environment from a continental philosophical perspective. His books include Ernst Jünger’s Philosophy of Technology. Heidegger and the Poetics of the Anthropocene (Routledge, 2017), Heidegger’s Concept of philosophical Method (Routledge, 2019), The Critique of Management. Toward a Philosophy and Ethics of Business Management (Routledge, 2021), From World to Earth. Philosophical Ecology of a threatened Planet (Boom, 2022 (in Dutch). Blok published over hundred articles in disciplinary philosophy journals like Environmental Values, Synthese, Philosophy & Technology and JBSF and in multi-disciplinary journals like Science, Journal of Cleaner Production, Public understanding of Science and Journal of Responsible Innovation.
more information: www.vincentblok.nl
Follow his work: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Vincent_Blok
- MSc. Philosophy and Ethics of Management, Economics and Consumer Behavior
- MSc. Data Science Ethics
- MSc. Introduction in Philosophy
- PhD. Philosophy of Responsible Innovation
showcase project 1:
NWO research project: Ethical, Legal & Social Aspects (ELSA) of Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Food Systems.
In the 21st century, population growth is expected to lead to an increasing demand for healthy and safe food which needs to be produced under challenging circumstances due to climate change. AI and digitalisation more broadly are often put forward as enablers of the transition toward more Sustainable Food Systems (SFS), in which sufficient food is produced with less burden on the environment. However, the development and implementation of AI also raises concerns, as it can disrupt the existing food system and raises ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSA), for instance regarding the fundamental freedom and autonomy of producers and consumers, consequences for employment, and new power relations between companies in the farm value chain or the liability of AI systems.
In order to benefit from AI’s potential for a transition to SFS, this project seeks to develop responsible and trustworthy AI in sustainable food systems by means of the development of an ELSA lab. In this project we will (a) develop insights in the ethical, legal and social challenges and opportunities related to AI applications for SFS, (b) design an ELSA lab methodology (including tools, (ethical and legal) guidelines and engagement strategies) for responsible and trustworthy AI for SFS, and (c) conduct multiple case studies where we will integrate ELSA aspects in AI (re)design or realize adjustments in the context in which it is to be implemented, like practical social arrangements, contracts, laws etc.
Throughout the project, the consortium will work closely together with quadruple helix stakeholders in multiple case studies, in pop-up ELSA labs in various contexts, and by involving a stakeholder board in advising and steering the development of the ELSA lab into a hub that can facilitate ELSA research and services to AI developers in agri-food after the project ends.
see www.vincentblok.nl for more projects
showcase project 2
NWO Gravitation program on Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies (ESDIT)
The overall aim of the research programme is to develop a comprehensive philosophical understanding of the socially disruptive technologies (SDTs) of the 21st century, and in particular their challenge to the very concepts and values that we normally appeal to in our moral thinking. These concepts and values form the basis of our current moral, political, and anthropological order. There is an urgency to this aim, as we need to develop new moral frameworks to guide these technologies for the betterment of humanity.
The Wageningen team focusses on the Nature research line of the program, which is coordinated by Vincent Blok, and involves several PhD projects in the philosophy of synthetic biology and biomimicry (https://www.esdit.nl/about-esdit/ for more information) .
see www.vincentblok.nl for more projects