Dr Koen Beumer
Koen's research focuses on the societal implications of emerging sciences and technologies. He is a postdoc at the University of Groningen in the NWO-MVI project "Ending poverty with potatoes".
This project aims to contribute to the societally responsible innovation of hybrid potato breeding. Historically the shift from conventional to hybrid breeding in other crops has been a key element in a longterm and comprehensive transition of agricultural that can be characterized as the global emergence of agro-industrial production chains. This development has led to intense debate about the merits and impacts of industrialized agricultural production, amongst others because of the controversial ways in which resources for agricultural innovation have been privatized. Koen investigates how the concept of the 'commons' - resources available to all - can help to guide the transition to hybrid potato breeding in a way that both the potato sector and society will benefit most from the innovation.
Besides his involvement in the NWO-MVI project, Koen is an assistant professor at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. He is also editor and author of Sciencepalooza.nl and is member of 'Young MVI', a think tank for the NWO programme on responsible innovation. Earlier Koen was a lecturer at the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Amsterdam, a PhD candidate at the Department of Technology and Society Studies at Maastricht University, and a policy researchers at the Advisory Council for Science, Technology, and Innovation.