Academic Bio

I am a philosopher of science working mainly on evolutionary theory, scientific explanations, classification in the sciences, natural kinds, connections between classification and nature conservation, and research ethics and responsibility. Officially I am Professor of Philosophy of Science and Technology in the Institute of Philosophy at Leibniz Universität Hannover, with a cross appointment as Professor in the Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences (CELLS). In addition I also am: Associated Faculty in the Socially Engaged Philosophy of Science Group (SEPOS) at Michigan State University; an elected Fellow of The Linnean Society of London; Council Member of the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB); a founding member and current member of the Steering Committee of the German Society for the Philosophy of Science (Gesellschaft für WissenschaftsphilosophieGWP); one of three founders and Editors in Chief of the Springer book series History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences; and one of three Editors in Chief of the Journal for General Philosophy of Science.


I hold two Master's degrees (one in physics, based on research on the behavior of multilayered superconductors in magnetic fields; the other in philosophy of science, based on research on Everett's interpretation of quantum theory) and a Doctoral degree (with a dissertation on the species problem in the philosophy of biology), all from Leiden University.


After having finished my dissertation work in Leiden I moved to Leibniz Universität Hannover, where I have been a Postdoc, Lecturer / Assistant Professor, Junior Professor and (since 2015) Professor. 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, and a Visiting Fellow in the Center for Interdisciplinarity (C4I) at Michigan State University in the 2018-2019 academic year.


I wrote my Doctoral dissertation as a Research Assistant at the (now abolished) 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 and computational biologists, methodologists, and phylogenetic systematists. This showed me the value of housing philosophers of science in science departments and convinced me 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.

I am Editor in Chief (together with Philippe Huneman, Paris, and Charles Wolfe, Toulouse) 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, Bochum, and Guido Bacciagaluppi, Utrecht) 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, of which I am a co-founder) and I am associate member of the society's Steering Committee as liaison officer between the Journal and the Society.


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 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 Steering Committee 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 Admissions Committee as well as the Examination Committee of our M.A. Program in Philosophy of Science. I have served 4 years on the Education Committee of the Faculty of Humanities, as well as one term (2 years) as Chair and one term (2 years) as Deputy Chair of the Institute of Philosophy.