Dr.Pols, A.J.K. (Auke)

Wageningen University & Research
Section: Knowledge, Technology and Innovation
Faculty: Social Sciences

Domain-Specific Ethics
Ecological Ethics
Environmental Ethics
Ethics of Energy
Methods and Approaches
responsible innovation
Visiting address

Wageningen University, Group of Knowledge, Technology and Innovation De Leeuwenborch (building 201), room 4019 Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen

Mail address

PO Box 8130 6700 EW WAGENINGEN The Netherlands


+31 (0)317 488 268



Auke Pols (1979) is a postdoc in the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation group at Wageningen University on the project ‘RRI Practice’ (https://www.rri-practice.eu/). Aim of this project is to understand the barriers and drivers to the successful implementation of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) both in European and global contexts; to promote reflection on organisational structures and cultures of research conducting and research funding organisations in his case, Wageningen University – and to identify and support best practices to facilitate the uptake of RRI in organisations and research programmes.

Auke studied Cognitive Artificial Intelligence at Utrecht University and got his PhD at the Philosophy & Ethics group at Eindhoven University of Technology, where he wrote a dissertation on how we should conceptualise what actions with artefacts are, and how artefacts influence agents and agency. He has worked there as a postdoc on the NWO MVI-project Biofuels: sustainable innovation or gold rush?, where he has investigated ethical aspects of biofuel governance, production and use, and on the NWO MVI-project Developing and implementing smart grids in India, where he has investigated ethical aspects of using smart grids for alleviating energy poverty in rural India.

Auke specialises in responsible innovation, philosophy and ethics of technology, ethical aspects of energy transitions and environmental ethics. All his publications can be accessed at his Academia.edu site at https://wur.academia.edu/AukePols.



  • Pols, A.J.K. (2017). May stakeholders be involved in design without informed consent? The case of Hidden Design. Science and Engineering Ethics 23(3), 723-742.
  • Pols, A.J.K. and Romijn, H.A. (2017). Evaluating irreversible social harms. Policy Sciences 50(3), 495-518.


  • de Hoop, E., Pols, A.J.K. and Romijn, H.A. (2016). Limits to Responsible Innovation. Journal of Responsible Innovation 3(2), 110-134.


  • Pols, A.J.K. (2015). Affordances and use plans: an analysis of two alternatives to function-based design. Artifical Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, 29(3), 239-247.
  • Pols, A.J.K. (2015). The Rationality of Biofuel Certification: A Critical Examination of EU Biofuel Policy. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28(4), 667-681. DOI 10.1007/s10806-015-9550-2.
  • Balkema, A.J. and Pols, A.J.K. (2015). Biofuels; Sustainable innovation or gold rush? Identifying responsibilities for biofuel innovations. In: E. J. Koops, I. Oosterlaken, H. A. Romijn, T. E. Swierstra and J. Van den Hoven (eds.), Responsible Innovation, vol. 2, 283-303. Dordrecht, Springer.
  • Pols, A.J.K. and Spahn, A. (2015). Design for the Values of Democracy and Justice. In J. van den Hoven, I. van de Poel and P. Vermaas (Eds.) Handbook of Ethics, Values and Technological Design: Sources, Theory, Values and Application Domains, pp. 335 – 364. Dordrecht: Springer.



  • Pols, A.J.K. 2013. Certification for sustainable biofuels. In: H. Röcklinsberg and P. Sandin (Eds.) The ethics of consumption: The citizen, the market and the law, pp. 77-82. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers.
  • Pols, A.J.K. 2013. Choosing your poison and the time of a killing. Philosophical Studies 165(3), 719-733. DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9975-7.
  • Pols, A.J.K. 2013. How Artefacts Influence Our Actions. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16(3), 575-587. DOI 10.1007/s10677-012-9377-0. available online
  • Houkes, W.N. and Pols, A.J.K. (2013). Plans for Modeling Rational Acceptance of Technology. In: D. Goldberg, N. McCarthy and D. Michelfelder (Eds.). Philosophy and Engineering: Reflections on Practice, Principles, and Process. Dordrecht: Springer.


  • Pols, A.J.K. 2012. “Characterising affordances: The descriptions-of-affordances-model” Design Studies 33, 113-125. doi:10.1016/j.destud.2011.07.007 available online


  • Pols, A.J.K. 2011. Acting with Artefacts. Dissertation. Eindhoven, Eindhoven University of Technology. available online
  • Pols, Auke J.K., and Wybo Houkes. 2011. “What is morally salient about enhancement technologies?” Journal of Medical Ethics 37(2): 84-87. available online


  • Pols, A.J.K. 2010. Transferring Responsibility Through Use Plans. In Philosophy and Engineering: An Emerging Agenda edited by I. van de Poel and D.E. Goldberg. Dordrecht: Springer.



  • Pols, A.J.K. 2014. In wereld met absolute schaarste gaat groei uiteindelijk altijd ten koste van een ander. Opiniestuk in Het Financieele Dagblad, 18 februari 2014.
  • Pols, A.J.K. and Romijn, H.A. (2014). Irreversible Social Change. In G. Collste and L. Reuter (Eds.) Proceedings from the 50th Societas Ethica Annual Conference 2013: Climate Change, Sustainability and an Ethics of an Open Future, August 22-25, 2013, Soesterberg, The Netherlands, pp. 79-99. Linköping, Sweden: Linköping University Electronic Press.
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