The Digital Society

We are living in a digital society, in which every aspect of our lives is profoundly being affected by the digitalisation of data: how we communicate and socialise; how we work, learn, stay healthy and participate in politics and the economy. Digitalisation promises tremendous benefits; for better health, more efficient mobility, efficient energy use, and flourishing companies.

Yet it also raises complex challenges: new divides around access to and control of data; what it means to be human when we share the world with sophisticated artificial intelligences; identifying knowledge and truth amongst the deluge of information. To address these issues, computer- and data scientists need to work together with social scientists and humanities scholars.

The research programme

The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) has brought together 30 leading professors from all fourteen universities to address the many pressing questions raised by the emergence of a digital society. The professors work together in the Digital Society programme and support the Netherlands to develop technologies and applications that serve societal goals and interests, and which can be an example to all.

The Netherlands has a long-standing culture of openness and collaboration, and is an active promoter of Open Science. Taken together, this means that researchers in the Netherlands are ideally positioned to take on a leadership role in multidisciplinary research for a human-centred digital society.

Data Principles

Data Principles are concepts that are vital to understand the societal challenges and opportunities of digitalisation.


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