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Department of Informatics Informatics and Sustainability Research

Ning Wang

Ning Wang, Dr.

  • Senior Scientist

Ning Wang is an ethicist and a political scientist based in Switzerland since 2010. She holds a PhD degree in Biomedical Ethics and Law from University of Zurich, and two Master’s degrees in Applied Ethics and Political Science obtained in Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands. In between her academic endeavors, she led projects on ethics policy development for international organizations across government, industry, and NGOs. As a strong advocate of bottom-up forces for social change, she is dedicated to bridging the gap between science and society, with active engagement in influential non-academic institutions such as the World Economic Forum and the IEEE.



Ning Wang has broad research interests in the ethics assessment and responsible governance of emerging and future technologies, such as robotics and autonomous systems. Through empirical studies of these transformative technologies of both enabling and disruptive nature, she aims to address the ethical, social, legal, and regulatory challenges new and complex technologies pose to society, explore responsive analytical approaches in the understanding and evaluation of them, and propose practical governance tools for the design, development, and use of them.

Conceptually, she is interested in exploring philosophical notions such as identity, agency, autonomy, responsibility, justice, and the good life. Methodologically, she seeks to draw on insights gained through transdisciplinary research in co-creation processes.


Currently, Ning Wang is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the following projects:

  • HOPE «Hubs of Open and Participatory Education for Digitally Connected Learning»: funded by the UZH Teaching Fund (ULF) for 2023-2024. The project seeks to co-create digitally connected leaning hubs for learners to access Open Education resources and to develop sustainable and affordable innovation solutions in challenging contexts, through inter-disciplinary and inter-cultural learning opportunities.
  • SKY «The Sky Is the Limit? Ethical Acceptability of Autonomous Systems in Switzerland»: funded by the UZH Research Talent Development Fund (FAN) for 2023-2024. The project aims to provide analyses about the ethical acceptability of high-impact technologies, and develop practical governance tools for policy makers and the public to achieve ethically informed transformations towards sustainability.
  • Apéro Philo «The Apéro Philo Series»: funded by the UZH Digital Society Initiative (DSI) for 2023-2024. This series of public events are organized for UZH researchers, students, and societal actors to engage in interdisciplinary scholarly exchanges, and to participate in discussions around ethics, technology, and digitalization in a friendly and inclusive environment.
  • BRIDGE «The BRIDGE Lab: Bridging the Wisdom Gap»: funded by the Digitalization Initiative of the Zurich Higher Education Institutions (DIZH) for 2022-2024. The project seeks to create a collaborative platform as a structural vessel to promote research-based innovation, to provide stakeholder-centered, action-oriented, and outcome-driven consultancy services, and to inform forward-looking policy scenarios to the digital innovation community around Switzerland.
  • SADUS «Societal Acceptance of Drones in Urban Switzerland»: funded by the UZH Global Strategy and Partnership Fund for 2022-2023. The project aims to develop evidence-based knowledge on the topics related to the ethical and social implications of high-impact technologies, through the perspective of adoption and adaptation of autonomous systems in the urban Swiss context.
  • E-HUD «The Ethics Assessment Tool for the Humanitarian Use of Drones», funded by the Digitalization Initiative of the Zurich Higher Education Institutions (DIZH) Innovation Program for 2022-2023. The project seeks to operationalize an ethics assessment framework for the use of drones in the humanitarian and development settings, as a spin-off innovation initiative of an earlier research project FEAHD.

Completed projects from her past research and teaching include:

  • EVSET «Enhancing Value Sensitivities in Emerging Technologies», funded by the UZH Teaching Fund(ULF) for 2021-2022. This blended course seeks to introduce the concept of «value sensitive innovation» from inter-disciplinary perspectives, and to equip young scientists and future innovators with a value-based innovation mindset and a set of practical operational toolkits.
  • Tichajil «The «Tichajil» Drone in Guatemala»: funded by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for 2020-2022. This field study in a remote highland area of Guatemala aims to gain an empirically-informed understanding about how the «value sensitive design» approach may facilitate the expression of human and societal values in the development of novel technologies.
  • FEAHD «Value Sensitive Innovation: Framework for the Ethics Assessment of Humanitarian Drones»: funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) for 2018-2021. The project seeks to investigate how to integrate ethical values in the humanitarian use of drones through empirical studies and multi-stakeholder collaboration.

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