Sofia Kaliarnta

Sofia Kaliarnta-Aalbers

Teacher Creative Business
Lecturer at CB, course coordinator of year 1 course ‘’Professional Development’’ and course coordinator for Study Coaching of year 1 (together with fellow lecturer Ellen Duffy). Started working at CB in 2016.


Sofia obtained a BA in Psychology (with minors in philosophy and education) from the University of Ioannina, Greece in 2005. Wanting to further her academic studies, she then continued her studies at Maastricht University where she graduated with honours from the ‘Media Culture’ MA program in 2006. Becoming interested on the way technology, science and society are intertwined, she then enrolled in the “Cultures of Arts, Science and Technology” MPhil research program at Maastricht University, with a focus on Science and Technology Studies, graduating in 2007.

In 2011 she started working as a PhD researcher at the Philosophy Department of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, at the Delft University of Technology. Her research focused on the ethical dimensions of new media technologies , studying potential ethical and emotional benefits and risks associated with being actively involved in various online communities. She has published her work in academic journals and books, as well as given multiple presentations in international conferences. A significant part of her PhD trajectory has been devoted to teaching: she has taught courses on ethics and technology at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management and the Faculty of Applied Physics.

Since August 2016, Sofia has been working at the Creative Business (formerly known as International Communication and Media) program at the HU University of Applied Sciences. She has taught a variety of courses, such as Humanities, Media Trends and Ethics, Psychology of Social Media and Technology. She has also been a study career coach for students of years 1, 2 and 4 of the Creative Business program and she currently also fulfils the positions of Course Coordinator for the Study Coaching Program of year 1 and Buddy Coach for Creative Business new lecturers (both positions are shared with fellow CB lecturer Ellen Duffy).

Fields of expertise

  • Professional Development
  • Media Culture
  • Digital Medial Culture
  • Professional Identity

Research themes

Sofia has done extensive research on online communities: she has examined the role of online medical communities regarding patient information and support by creating a comparative analysis of the participation of Dutch and Greek IVF patients in online medical communities. She has also written about the potential ethical and emotional benefits and risks associated with online friendships.

Project title Moral emotions and risk politics
Keywords Ethics, technology
Years of completion 2015 – not formally completed
General project description

This VIDI-project offers a philosophical investigation of how moral emotions can be incorporated into political decision making and communication about risky technologies. Risks arising from technologies raise important ethical issues for people living in the 21st century. Although technologies can improve human well-being, they may also convey risks for our well-being due to accidents and misuse. As a consequence of such side-effects, technologies can trigger emotions, including fear and indignation, which often leads to conflicts between experts and laypeople. How should we deal with such emotions in political decision making and debates about risky technologies?  Emotions have often been met with suspicion in political debates about risky technologies, because they are seen as contrary to rational decision making. Indeed emotions can cloud our understanding of quantitative information about risks. However, emotions are necessary in order to judge ethical aspects of technological risks, such as justice, fairness and autonomy.

In the PhD research part of the project, the focus lies on the use of online medical communities by women undergoing IVF and the potential ethical and emotional benefits and risks associated with becoming actively involved in such communities.

Your Role in project PhD researcher

Other recent projects

Key publications

Scholarly publications


  • MPhil, Cultures of Arts, Science and Technology (Research Master CAST), (2007-2008) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University, The Netherlands. Graduated cum laude.
  • MA, Media Culture, (2006-2007) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
  • BA, Psychology, (2000-2005) Department of Philosophy, Education and Psychology, University of Ioannina, Greece. Minors in Education and Philosophy.