Eleonore Pauwels is a public policy scholar with the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Her primary focus is a comparative and critical analysis of the EU and US approaches towards the societal governance of synthetic biology. She is also examining the challenges that new forms of biotechnology pose for political and public policy organizations, and the regulatory innovations that emerge alongside developments in cutting edge technologies. Her past research has included risk communication, citizen participation in technical controversies, and the epistemology of regulatory and social scientific experiments.

Eleonore holds a M.A. in European Public Policy and Politics awarded by L’Institut d’études politiques de Paris (IEP) and Bath University within the European American University Consortium. She pursued postgraduate studies at the College of Europe (Academic University Institute for Postgraduate European Studies, Bruges) where she completed a cursus in European Regulatory Governance related to EU Research Policy. In 2006-2007, she was part of the Governance & Ethics Unit of the Directorate-General for Research at the European Commission.


Governance of Science and Emerging Technologies; R&D Innovation and Management; Technology Assessment and Citizen Participation; Foresight and Strategic Planning; Regulatory/Policy Analysis; Risk Communication and Public Engagement; Environmental Technologies; the Molecular Economy and its related governance challenges

Project Summary

Pauwels’ research explains how the erosion of public trust in government impacts technology innovation and suggests new ways for officials, business people and the science community to gain and maintain public confidence in society’s ability to manage technological risks. She intends to develop a more efficient, anticipatory and inclusive technology assessment process that would ensure that, in the introduction of synthetic biology into society, social risks are minimized, social benefits are maximized and therefore, social capital accompanies technology innovation.