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Prof. A.J. Pols (1966) has been appointed professor by special appointment of Social Theory, Humanism and Materialities at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. The chair was established on behalf of the Socrates Foundation.
Prof Jeannette Pols, professor Social theory, humanism and materialities
Photo: Jeroen Oerlemans

In her research, Jeannette Pols explores the development of empirical ethics in care, which is an area of ethics that explores ethical questions by means of ethnographic research. Technologies are central here. In comparative ethnographic analyses, her research provides insight into the practical and desirable ways in which these technologies shape care and societies, and the repertoires of ‘being human’ that follow from these practices. The aim is to discover and develop normative directions in complex technological societies.

Pols, whose research runs along three main axes, analyses the diversity of values relating to care, the way technologies help to shape positions of patients and how to evaluate these, and the practical knowledge of patients and carers. Pols intends to use her appointment to strengthen collaboration between the Sociology and Anthropology department and the Medical Ethics section of the Academic Medical Center (AMC-UvA). 

Pols is associate professor in the General Medical Practice Department at the AMC-UvA’s Medical Ethics section. From 1995 to 2006, she was a member of the scientific staff at the Trimbos Institute. Her doctoral thesis has been published as a book for which she was awarded the Netherlands Association for Bioethics (NVBE) triennial prize. Last year, she authored Care at a Distance. On the Closeness of Technology, a book published by Amsterdam University Press, which explores the development of telecare.