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Tim Meijers receives a Veni for research into obligations to future generations

What do we owe to future generations? And how do we fairly share the costs of complying with these obligations , knowing that the world is full of inequality and injustice? Tim Meijers, philosopher and university lecturer, will formulate a fundamental answer to this question using a Veni grant of 250,000 euros.

In many cases, the question of obligations to future generations and its cost-sharing lies at the intersection of international and intergenerational justice. 'After all, a large number of important social issues have both international and intergenerational dimensions; they concern people here and elsewhere in the world as well as people who live now and in the future', explains Meijers. 'What we do now - as a global current generation - to a large extent determines how future generations will live. Think of sustainability, depletion of natural resources, climate change, but also of creating and passing on fair and stable democratic and economic institutions. I think that we cannot separate these two areas of justice - intergenerational and international.'

Tools for a green, democratic and just world

Meijers: 'The central issue of this project is not only of philosophical interest, but also of great social importance. How we divide the costs tied to obligations to future generations has a major impact on the lives of almost everyone living now, and in the future. Thorough and critical reflection on the way in which responsibility is divided is therefore of great importance. Individual citizens, organisations and states need tools to reflect on their role in passing on a green, democratic and just world.'


Meijers says that during the writing of the proposal he received a lot of support from colleagues in Leiden, Utrecht - where he works as a postdoc within the ERC project 'Fair Limits' - and elsewhere. 'A grant from the Leiden University Fund and the Gratama Foundation has also enabled me to make time for this proposal. The Veni is an individual grant, but without all of this personal and institutional support it would never have been possible to get this grant', says Meijers. 

NWO Veni

In total, 25 young Leiden researchers received a Veni grant. Every year, the NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research), awards Veni grants to young researchers who recently obtained their doctoral degree. They receive a maximum of 250.000 euros for innovational research projects. The Veni grants are, together with the Vidi and Vici grants, part of the NWO's Innovational Research Incentives Scheme.

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