Research seminar Metamedica


Next Research Seminar of the department Metamedica is scheduled on Tuesday the 21th of May! We hereby invite you all for this meeting. Please let me know whether you will participate or not.

Thema: Empirical ethics research: which methodology do we use if we are drawing normative conclusions?

Much research within the department of Medical Humanities concerns working in and with practices, together with various stakeholders, (jointly) collecting 'empirical' data, aiming at 'improving' practices and contribute to an just society. In order to do so, we need normative conclusions about what an improvement entails. How do you reach normative conclusions? What kind of methodology do you use? How do you write about this methodology?

In a consensus paper, Ives et al. wrote:

EER is a '... particular approach that has been taken in predominantly European literature that frames empirical bioethics as an interdisciplinary activity in which empirical social scientific and analysis is integrated with ethical analysis in order to draw normative conclusions. It is exciting, according to Ives et al [1], because it is a field that potentially “promises a great deal”, but also frustrating “because the emerging field threatens to be so multifarious and vague that making sense of it is a challenge for even the most seasoned researcher”.

In this interactive research seminar we will first give a brief overview of various conceptions of Empirical Ethics Research, some of its core challenges, and then zoom in on various kinds of methodologies which are use to draw our normative conclusions within EER. In circles we will ask you to reflect upon the methodologies you use in order to reach normative conclusions or in order to normatively improve practices. In case you are not doing EER yourself, then we’ll ask you to reflect upon which EER methodology you prefer.

This research seminar we are aiming to update our understanding of EER and its core challenges, the EER methodologies that are in use, and the kind of EER methodology that you favor (and how to write about it in your work).

1) As a preparation, please read the paper of Davies et al. on methodologies in EER. Then check whether you your EER research fits within one of these categories.

2) See table 5 in the consensus paper of Ives et al. (you do not have to read the paper!) and check with which standards you agree and which standards you fulfill in your own EER. What do you think of these standards?

3) Please read Widdershoven et al. about dialogical EER, and reflecte upon to which degree you recognize your own position or ideas about EER, and which kind of questions or criticism you have.

As background information, we also sent you the paper of Borry et al. (ontstaansgeschiedenis EER) & De Vries (meta-ethische challenges of EER).

Besloten / Open

VU, afdeling Metamedica
F-vleugel Medische Faculteit
Lokaal F-001
De Boelenlaan 1089a
1081 HV Amsterdam


Research seminar van de afdeling Metamedica, bestemd voor onderzoekers van deze afdeling. Disability Studies maakt deel uit van de afdeling Metamedica. Aanmelden kan door een email te sturen naar Syvlia Gerritsen:


Sylvia Gerritsen


Suzanne Metselaar en Bert Molewijk, afdeling Metamedica, VUmc.