Educating Responsible Innovators-to-Be: Hands-on Participation with Biotechnology

  • Amalia KallergiEmail author
  • Robert Zwijnenberg
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 532)


How does one go about educating responsible innovators? What are the skills and sensitivities that we wish to sharpen in our students, the responsible innovators of the future, so that they can respond to the needs of a complex and ever-conflicting society? And how do we do so in an engaging and effective manner? This paper advocates a humanities-informed approach to responsible innovation education and contributes a pedagogic stance that emphasizes experiential learning and hands-on participation. Given the domain of biotechnology, a booming industry defined by rapid technological developments and pending moral challenges, we examine DIY biology and contemporary art as a means to an embodied engagement with the ethical and societal concerns surrounding biotechnology. The paper documents educational activities and observations from a specific educational module, namely the course “Ethics, culture and biotechnology”, organized and taught by the authors as part of the higher education program Responsible Innovation.



The authors wish to thank all students of the “Ethics, culture and biotechnology” module for their insights and participation. Also, our colleagues at the minor Responsible Innovation for realizing such an ambitious and innovative program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS)Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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