Visiting address

University of Twente Department of Philosophy 7500 AE ENSCHEDE The Netherlands

Mail address

University of Twente Department of Philosophy P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE ENSCHEDE The Netherlands

Dr. Saskia Nagel is professor for applied ethics at RWTH Aachen University. She is also associate professor for Philosophy and Ethics of Technology at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Twente.

She holds an MSc in Cognitive Science with a focus on neuroscience (University of Osnabrück, Germany) and a doctoral degree in cognitive science and philosophy (University of Osnabrück, Germany). Her doctoral thesis has been on neuroethics studying the ethical implications of monitoring and manipulating the brain. Before coming to Twente, she led a research group studying the ethical, anthropological, and social implications of our growing knowledge about the brain’s plasticity. She is Associated Researcher at the Institute of Cognitive Science, in Osnabrück, and at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Heidelberg, and at Neuroethics Canada.


Saskia Nagel is working at the intersection of ethics, philosophy, life sciences (in particular neurosciences and cognitive science), and technologies. She has developed approaches to individual and societal challenges in a technological culture, with a focus on the ethical, anthropological, and social consequences of neuroscientific progress. She is particularly interested in how technologies influence our self-understanding, and how they impact our understanding of autonomy and responsibility. Saskia Nagel combines research in applied ethics with philosophy of mind and philosophy of technology and involves studies on the public understanding of sciences and technological advances. Her grand goal is to understand how emerging (neuro-)technologies help or hinder us flourish throughout life.

Selected publications

O’Connor, C. and Nagel, S.K. (2017): Neuro-enhancement practices across the lifecourse: Exploring the roles of relationality and individualism. Frontiers in Sociology.

 Frank, L.E. and Nagel, S.K. (2017): Addiction and Moralization: The role of the underlying model of addiction. Neuroethics 10, 1: 129-139. DOI: 10.1007/s12152-017-9307-x

Lumma, A.-L. and Nagel, S.K. (2016): Neuro-Societies? Attitudes and Perceptions in a German Public towards the Neurosciences. Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 4 (2): 19–46.

Crafa, D. and Nagel, S.K. (accepted): Traces of Culture: The feedback loop between behaviour, brain, and disorder. Transcultural Psychiatry.

Nagel, S.K. (2014): Enhancement for well-being is still ethically challenging. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 8 (72): doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2014.00072

Graf, W.D., Nagel, S.K., Epstein, L.G., Miller, G., Nass, R. and Larriviere, D. (2013): Pediatric neuroenhancement: ethical, legal, social, and neurodevelopmental implications. Neurology 80 (13): 1251-1260.

Nagel, S.K. (2010): Too much of a good thing? Enhancement and the burden of self-determination. Neuroethics 3 (2): 109-119.

Nagel, S.K. (2010): Ethics and the Neurosciences. Ethical and social consequences of neuroscientific progress. Paderborn: mentis.

Nagel, S.K., Carl, C., Kringe, T., Märtin, R., & König. P. (2005): Beyond sensory substitution – learning the sixth sense, Journal of Neural Engineering 2: R13-R26.

Contribution to public discourse:

The intersection of the neurosciences and ethics poses manifold societally relevant questions and requires valorisation. Saskia Nagel understands the translation of the results of her research to other academic disciplines and to a broader audience as part of her academic responsibility. The neurosciences as a topic of high public interest require public discussions between research and society. Being trained in cognitive science and philosophy, and as a scholar in ethics, she is active in science communication: she gives public talks, presents and discusses in schools, churches, companies, takes part in public panels, and contributes to TV science documentaries, radio shows, and writes for public audiences.


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