research in action

Our research deals with a variety of societal challenges: How to promote food security while respecting the environment and animal welfare; how to preserve and promote health and equity; how to seek inclusive development in an unequal world?

These challenges, and the technological and societal responses to tackle them, are characterised by value conflicts, disagreement and controversy. Through our research we aim to contribute to a world in which societies are capable of dealing with these challenges and controversies in a non-polarised way, adopting strategies for communication, dialogue and reflection as pathways towards responsible social and technological change and inclusive development.

Therefore, a key characteristic of our research is that it is action-oriented and reflexive. We both study societal challenges, debates and change processes and intervene in such societal processes, often together with stakeholders. This approach of ‘doing and studying’ takes several forms, for example:

We organise dialogue and deliberation, and critically reflect on the process at the same time. We pursue certain values, such as integrity and equity, and at the same time examine and question how such values are defined. We engage with projects that design and promote innovation, and at the same time provide critical feedback based on investigation of the process and its effects.

Thus, our research does not take place in an ivory tower, but is embedded in a messy context where findings, ideas and insights can be applied immediately. In this way research can become a vehicle for clarifying and bridging divides in the context of societal challenges.

For more information about specific research projects of the CPT chairgroups, click on one of the buttons below.