Saskia Nagel

Dr. Saskia Nagel

Department of Philosophy
University of Twente
Postbus 217
7500 AE Enschede
Cubicus, C 323

Tel. +31 53 489 -2662

Saskia Nagel is an assistant professor for Philosophy and Ethics of Technology (on tenure-track) 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 had a junior research group working on the ethical, anthropological, and social implications of our growing knowledge about the brain’s plasticity. She is a member of the 3TU Centre of Excellence for Ethics and Technology (, Associated Researcher at the Institute of Cognitive Science, in Osnabrück (, and at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Heidelberg (


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 and perception 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. She seeks to understand how emerging (neuro-) technologies help or hinder us flourish throughout life.

Key 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.
  • 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. 
  • Nagel, S.K., Hrincu, V. and Reiner, P.B. (2016) Algorithm Anxiety - Do decision-making algorithms pose a threat to autonomy? In: IEEE international symposium on Ethics in Engineering, Science and Technology.
  • 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., Miller, G., and Nagel, S.K. (2014): Addressing the Problem of ADHD Medication as Neuroenhancements. Expert Review in Neurotherapeutics 14 (5): 569-581.
  • Remmers, H. and Nagel, S.K. (2014): Ethical conflicts regarding technical assistance systems for the elderly. In: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, IGI Global: 7133-7141.
  • 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. (2013): Neuronale Plastizität und Autonomie - Chancen und Risiken des zunehmenden Wissens über die Veränderbarkeit des Gehirns. Zeitschrift für medizinische Ethik, 59:31-39.
  • 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.
  • Choudhury, S., Nagel, S.K., & Slaby, J. (2009): Critical Neuroscience: linking neuroscience and society through critical practice, BioSocieties 4(1): 61-77.
  • 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.


Within the Master Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society: Technology and the Quality of Life (with Dr. J. Soraker)

Other recent courses: Human subject research and medical technologies, Research Ethics and Academic Integrity, Problem Identification and Problem Solving, Engineering Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Ethics and Regulation of Human Subject Research, Visions in Science and Ethics, Advanced course on the intersection of Neuroscience and Philosophy


The intersection of the neurosciences and ethics, a field that poses manifold societally relevant questions, 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 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.