Academic Bio:


I am a philosopher of science with a background in physics, philosophy, and theoretical biology, and a research focus in philosophy of the life sciences, bioethics, and research ethics. I grew up in The Hague on the Dutch North Sea coast, where I enjoyed a secondary education at Aloysius College. I went on to take two Master's degrees (one in physics, one in philosophy of science) and a Doctoral degree, all from Leiden University. I live in Lansing, Michigan, and Hannover, Germany.


After having finished my dissertation work in Leiden I moved to Leibniz Universität Hannover (Germany), where I have been a Postdoc, Lecturer, and Junior Professor and currently am Professor of Philosophy of Biology at the Institute of Philosophy, with a cross appointment in the Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences (CELLS). I'm also one of the PI's in the DFG Research Training Group 2073Integrating Ethics and Epistemology of Scientific Research, an Associated Member of the Leibniz Center for Science and Society (LCSS), and a member of the Leibniz School of Education.


In between my second Master's and my PhD at Leiden I have been a trainee Policy Officer at the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS), where I have worked on topics in GMO regulation and medical ethics. I have been a Visiting Fellow at the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science (University of Minnesota - Twin Cities) in the Fall Semester 2008 and again in the Fall Semester 2013. I have been a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Interdisciplinarity (C4I) at Michigan State University in the Academic Year 2018-2019, and currently am a Visiting Scholar in the Socially Engaged Philosophy of Science Group (SEPoS) group at Michigan State University.


I wrote my Doctoral dissertation while a Research Assistant at the (unfortunately no longer existing) endowed Chair of Philosophy of Biology, which at the time was housed in the wonderful Theoretical Biology group in Leiden's Institute of Biology - an eclectic group of philosophers of biology, bioethicists, mathematical biologists, methodologists and phylogenetic systematists. This circumstance is likely responsible for my view that there is no (and there should not be any) deep divide between the philosophy of a particular science and theoretical work in that science (see also my research profile on this site).


Service to the profession (selection):

I am Editor in Chief (together with Philippe Huneman and Charles Wolfe) of the Springer book series History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences (series homepage here). Contact me with any questions about the series, or if you're interested in publishing your book or edited collection with us.


I am also an Editorial Board member of the Springer book series Science: Philosophy, History and Education (see here).

I am Editor in Chief (together with Helmut Pulte and Claus Beisbart) of the Journal for General Philosophy of Science (see here). The JGPS is associated with the Gesellschaft für Wissenschaftsphilosophie (the German Society for the Philosophy of Science) and I am associate member of the Society's board as liaison between the Journal and the Society. Feel free to contact me with any questions about the Journal.


I am also an Editorial Board member of the Springer journals Acta Biotheoretica, of which I have been Associate Editor for 10 years (see here), and Science & Education (see here).

In 2011, together with six colleagues from other German universities I have founded the German Society for the Philosophy of Science (Gesellschaft für WissenschaftsphilosophieGWP). I have served two terms as Treasurer on the GWP's Governing Board (2011-2016) and remain on the Board as Associate Board Member (liaison officer with the Journal for General Philosophy of Science).

At my university I'm a member of the Investigative Committee for Good Scientific Practice, as well as the Committee for Responsibility in Research. I am also Chair of the Admission and Examination Committees of our M.A. Program in Philosophy of Science. I have served on the Education Committee of the Faculty of Humanities, as well as Chair and Deputy Chair of the Institute of Philosophy.