UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy

Prof Arthur Petersen

Prof Arthur Petersen

Professor of Science, Technology & Public Policy


Faculty of Engineering Science

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2014


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
DPA, Philosophy of Science | 2006
Universiteit Utrecht
PhD, Atmospheric Physics | 1999
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
MA, Philosophy of Science | 1995
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
MSc, Theoretical Physics | 1993


Arthur Petersen (DPA PhD MA MSc FISSR FIET FRSA FHEA MAE) is Professor of Science, Technology and Public Policy at UCL and Editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science. He joined UCL STEaPP fulltime in September 2014 after more than 13 years’ work as scientific adviser on environment and infrastructure policy within the Dutch Government. He served as Chief Scientist of the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (2011–2014).

Professor Petersen is also Research Affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science (he has held the affiliations to both MIT and LSE since 2009). He has been Adjunct Professor of Science and Environmental Public Policy at the VU University Amsterdam (2011–2016), Professorial Fellow at the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment – RIVM (2016–2017) and Visiting Fellow at Osaka University (2018). In June 2019, he was elected as a Member of Academia Europaea, the European Academy of Humanities, Letters and Sciences.

Professor Petersen studied physics and philosophy, obtained doctorate degrees in atmospheric sciences (Doctor of Philosophy - PhD, Utrecht University, 1999) and philosophy of science (Doctor of Public Administration - DPA, VU University Amsterdam, 2006), and now also finds disciplinary homes in anthropology, political science and science & religion. Most of his research is about dealing with uncertainty and ignorance.

Professor Petersen has been a member of STEaPP's Leadership Team from since he joined the Department until June 2018. In 2016–17 he was Acting Head of Department.