About the institute The Rathenau Institute encourages public debate and assists political decision-making with regard to the social, ethical and political impact of modern science and technology. It further studies the organization of the science system and how that system responds to scientific, social and economic developments.
The Rathenau Institute is an independent organisation set up by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. In terms of daily management the institute is a part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).
Field of interests The Institute addresses a broad field of interests, varying from biotechnology to spatial planning. The institute can devote resources to any technological or scientific development which could have consequence to Dutch society. These are not exclusively new technologies – such as nanotechnology, genomics or artificial intelligence – but also existing technological systems such as nuclear energy, organ donation or water management. The Institute also researches the many different methods of technology assessment and experiments with ways to involve citizens in the debates.
Work programme Every two years the Rathenau Institute lays down the proposed project’s in a so-called work programme. To select the subjects the institute looks at the political agenda and questions put forward by society. The work programme is offered for review to the Minister of Education who sends it with a reaction to the Dutch Lower House.
For more information about projects, working methods, annual reports et cetera, check our website www.rathenau.org.