Irma van der Ploeg

Senior researcher

Research group(s):
7. ICT-enabled Innovation and Societal Transformations (coordinator)

Irma van der Ploeg holds degrees in Philosophy (social philosophy, philosophy of science and technology) and Science & Technology Studies, and received her PhD from Maastricht University.

Before joining UNU-MERIT, she had been employed by Maastricht University, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences Maastricht.

She has published extensively on philosophical, normative, social, and ethical aspects of medical technologies and information technologies, in particular on identification technologies and biometrics. She has been involved in a range of research projects for a.o. Dutch ministries, NWO, AWT, The Rathenau Institute, and the European Commission (FP6, FP7)

In 2008 she was awarded a Starting Grant for Independent Researchers by the European Research Council, for a large, 5-year research programme entitled "Social and Ethical Aspects of Digital Identities. Towards a Value Sensitive Identity Management. (

Her current research interests include :

  • Social and ethical aspects of technology, in particular ICTs, surveillance and identification technologies.
  • STS approaches to normative and ethical implications of technology
  • Digital identities in a digitising society
  • Responsible innovation through ICTs
  • The informatisation of the body

Selected publications by Irma van der Ploeg