Machiel Keestra is Central Diversity Officer of the University of Amsterdam since February 2022. As such he and his team members are involved in further implementing of diversity, equity and inclusion at the UvA, in coordinating and supporting the Faculty Diversity Officers and other relevant networks in their efforts and in offering (un)sollicited advise on relevant issues. In 2019-2022 Keestra was Diversity Officer of the department of Science (FNWI), where he worked together with engaged students and faculty in the Diversity Sounding Board.
In addition, Keestra is assistant professor (UD) with tenure at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies at the UvA, teaching in several interdisciplinary honours, bachelor and master programs on philosophy and history of science, on diversity, on philosophy of cognitive neuroscience and on interdisciplinary research.
Keestra is and member of the research group Logic and Language at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation and of the research group Neuroaesthetics & Neurocultures of the UvA (and co-organizer of its series of 'Worlding the Brain' conferences) . His research interests are a.o. history of philosophy and hermeneutics, philosophy of action, the philosophy of cognitive neuroscience and philosophy of interdisciplinarity. His PhD thesis "Sculpting the Space of Actions. Explaining Human Action by Integrating Intentions and Mechanisms" covers the overlap between philosophy of science, cognitive neuroscience, hermeneutics and ethics and presents a novel framework for the interdisciplinary explanation and understanding of human action (http://dare.uva.nl/record/463110 ).
He is elected board member of the US based Association for Interdisciplinary (formerly: Integrative) Studies since Fall 2010 and has been AIS's President from 2014 to 2016. He was co-chair of the first AIS conference outside of North America in October 2019 at the University of Amsterdam: http://www.aisconference2019.nl/ . In addition, Keestra is member of the editorial advisory board of the peer reviewed journal Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies. He is also founding board member of the Global Inter- and Transdisciplinary Alliance, an network of organizations and individuals established in 2021 that aims to strengthen and promote the global capacity and the calibre of collaborative modes of boundary-crossing research and practice.
In addition to his academic positions, Keestra is co-founder of the foundation Keti Koti Table. This facilitated personal dialogue method focuses on the mitigation of racism, discrimination and sterotyping, especially in the context of shared post-slavery and post-colonial histories. Generally organized in collaboration with institutions for higher education, museums, governmental and NGO organizations, academic conferences etc., by 2022 more than 20.000 people in the Netherlands, Germany and US have participated in a Keti Koti Table, which have also been hosted online during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Most of Keestra's publications are available here.