Maastricht University

VIRI Founding Member

The aim of the Maastricht University Science and Technology Studies (MUSTS)research programme, chaired by Wiebe Bijker, is to study science-technology-society relations: the social construction of science and technology, the techno-scientific constitution of society, and the relations between science and technology. Within the broad field of science, technology and society studies (STS), MUSTS research focuses on “cultures of innovation." On the one hand we examine how change and innovation evolve in cultures such as the engineering workshop, the regulatory body, the laboratory, the audio studio, or the hospital; and on the other hand we examine how these changes relate to processes of governing our societies that are so thoroughly constituted by science and technology. Analysis typically moves between different levels: from micro-level studies of local practices to macro-level questions of governance, policy, and morality. Our research fruitfully overlaps with research fields such as risk studies, sound studies, development studies, ethics, and internet studies. We start out from STS but seek to contribute to debates in other academic disciplines, to discussions amongst the practitioners whom we study, and to engage with societal issues and policies. 

VIRI Associate Director Tsjalling Swierstra leads the MUSTS research line in Technomoral change, is a member of the programme committee of the RRI programme financed by the Dutch Research Council NWO, and is director of the Centre for Ethics and Politics of Emerging Technologies (EPET).


Selected RRI Publications

Hommels, Anique, Jessica Mesman, and Wiebe E. Bijker, eds. 2014. Vulnerability in Technological Cultures: New directions in Research and Governance. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

van den Hoven, Jeroen, Neelke Doorn, Tsjalling Swierstra,  Bert-Jaap Koops, and Henny Romijn, eds. 2014. Responsible Innovation 1: Innovative Solutions for Global Issues. Dordrecht: Springer. ISBN: 978-94-017-8955-4 (Print) 978-94-017-8956-1 (Online) 

Burg, Simone van der and Tsjalling Swierstra, eds. 2013. Ethics on the Laboratory Floor. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.

Swierstra, Tsjalling, Niki Vermeulen, Johan Braeckman, and Roel van Driel. 2013. Rethinking the Life Sciences. EMBO-Reports 14 (4): 310 - 314. doi:10.1038/embor.2013.30

Swierstra, Tsjalling and Hedwig te Molder. 2012. "Risk and Soft Impacts." In Handbook of Risk Theory, eds. Sabine Roeser,  Rafaela Hillerbrand, Per Sandin, and Martin Peterson. Dordrecht: Springer Academic Publishers, 1050-1066.

Recent Maastricht News Items



Submit your manuscript to the Journal of Responsible Innovation

VIRI is supported by the National Science Foundation under collective agreement #1257246.

VIRI is housed at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University.