Professorship for Frans Brom

WRR Secretary/Director Dr Frans Brom, was appointed Professor of Normativity of Scientific Policy Advice by the College of Administration at Utrecht University on 1 May 2017. Frans will fulfil this role in conjunction with his appointment as Director/Secretary of the WRR.

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Image: ©Rathenau Institute

Chair of study

The research carried in this role is concerned with exposing the science and policy perspectives of scientific policy advice. In the first place the focus is on the relationship and interactions between the different nationalities (ways of thinking and arguing) of science, policy and politics. How do these nationalities interact in science-based strategic policy advice? The main area of concern are the political-philosophical aspects of institutionalisations of scientific policy advice in pluralist democracies and their significance for the role of scientific policy adviser as a professional. The chair of study explicitly aims for interaction between academic research (embedded in the Ethical Institute and the strategic Institutions for Open Societies) and reflective advisory practice as exemplified by the Scientific Council for Government Policy.


Frans Brom has been Secretary/Director of the WRR since August 2015. From 2007 to 2015 he was Head of Technology Assessment at the Rathenau Instituut. Between 2010 and 2015 he was Professor of Ethics of Technology Assessment at Utrecht University, and from 2004 to 2009 was Professor of Ethics of Life Sciences at Wageningen University & Research. From 1991 to 2007 he was a lecturer and researcher in ethics at Utrecht University.

Frans Brom studied ethics at the Catholic Theological University in Amsterdam, with subsidiary philosophy of law at University Amsterdam. He obtained his doctorate from Utrecht University in 1997 with a thesis on the moral issues in relation to biotechnology in animals (Onherstelbaar verbeterd. Biotechnologie bij dieren als een moreel probleem).