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Research domain: Emerging Science & Technology

Emergent science and technologies, such as biotech, blockchain and AI, not only constitute technical, but also social change. The Athena Institute integrates societal actors in research and innovation processes in various ways, to ensure that technological developments contribute to solving societal problems. Find our projects listed below, divided into subthemes.

Digital inclusion

The digitalisation of society is rapidly advancing, touching various aspects of daily lives, including healthcare and government services. However, not everyone benefits equally from this transformation. Certain groups face exclusion, such as people with low socioeconomic status, disabilities, migrant backgrounds, and elderly. Athena strives for a digital transition that is inclusive from the outset. To make inclusion a priority, not an afterthought.

Doing eHealth Right | Reduces health inequalities by transforming the eHealth system

Shared Multimodal Mobility for All (SMALL) | Co-creates shared mobility innovations for people with reduced mobility in the European North Sea region

Green Metrics | Analyses how 'green metrics' can become part of health technology assessment (finalised)

Evidence in Action | Includes experiential knowledge in vaccination guidelines through AI analyses

Towards a customised AI-driven chatbot for undocumented people | Explores undocumented peoples' needs to develop an AI chatbot that delivers customised health information 

Science communication

In an era of increasing societal polarisation and scepticism toward science, it is crucial to strengthen the relationship between science and society. Therefore, Athena facilitates interactions between scientists and citizens in playful and creative ways We develop methods to transform traditional, one-way science communication into a vibrant dialogue that includes and appreciates citizens' perspectives and experiences.

Science Museums of the Future | Investigates and supports science centers and museums in experimenting with new science-society interface roles

Catalyst | Engages citizens through playful methods in discussions on how technology should be used within a 'smart city' (finalised)

Rewarded! | What scientists need in order to do meaningful science communication (finalised)

Reprodutopia | Initiates conversations between scientists and citizens through an exhibition on the future of reproduction (finalised)

RETHINK | Establishes reflexive connections between science and society in Europe (finalised)

COALESCE | Aims to close the gap between science and society by building on and connecting science communication, public engagement and co-creation practices in Europe

SocKETs | Aligns innovations based on key enabling technologies, such as AI, e-health and nanotechnology, with societal values

Vaccination Dialogues | Aligns COVID-19 vaccination policy with needs in society (finalised)

Science with Society | Facilitates dialogues between Amsterdam's residents and students on societal issues

MELOMANES | Designs a reflexive practice training programme on cancer treatment through nanotechnology

Climate Research in Dialogue | Develops a new, dialogical form of science communication related to the climate crisis, placing the lifeworld of citizens centre stage

Restoring Public Trust in the Dutch Tax Administration | Understanding societal needs to bolster the social embeddedness of the Belastingdienst

Societal entrepreneurship

Corporate social responsibility invokes organisations moral duty to balance commercial goals with societal benefits. To accelerate this trend, Athena fosters societal entrepreneurship by supporting the co-creation of business strategies that integrate public and environmental welfare. 

TRUSTyFOOD | Opportunities for blockchain technology in the the food supply chain

Preparing for Emerging Infectious Diseases | Aligns short-term public health and long-term R&D responses

B.Kind | Investigating how to improve the health and wealth of communities in Vietnam through locally-produced probiotics

DOMINO | Drives the creation of plant-based fermented foods in Europe

History of knowledge

While scientific expertise and technology are seen as drivers of progress, they also come with drawbacks like climate change, disinformation, privacy concerns, and power imbalances. Athena explores how different types of knowledge are produced and shared, both in expert settings and society as a whole. This historical approach helps us understand current issues by challenging dominant narratives. Moreover, it reveals the nature and role of knowledge in modern societies.

SOY STORIES | Investigates the histories of soy cultivation and intensive animal farming for an inclusive, sustainable future

Dutch Agricultural History | Studies the post-war industrialisation of Dutch agriculture in relation to environmental issues

The Scientific Conference: A Social, Cultural, and Political History | Analyses the practice of conferencing in science and its societal entanglements

Scientific Universalism | Studies the rise of international scientific projects and institutions, as well as the ideology of scientific internationalism

Cold War Education | Analyses the rise of new ideals and practices in education in their social and political contexts

Systems Thinking | Describes the post-war transformation of systems as a descriptive tool to systems as a means of controlling an increasing range of political, economic and social processes

The evolution of academic disciplines | Studies the nature and development of academic disciplines, as well as the rise of inter- and transdisciplinarity

Watch the Transformation Journey

Also take a look at the other research domains