Mara Almeida

Bio | Situação no CFCUL | Produção Científica | CV

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Bio || Bio

Mara Almeida has a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Porto and a PhD in Developmental Biology from the University of Cambridge. She has worked at Oxford University as a postdoctoral research scientist on questions of neuronal function regulation. After her academic work in life sciences she moved to the field of technology assessment (TA), more specifically, to the practice of parliamentary TA at the European and national level.

The experience in TA started by working as a Scientific Adviser for Biological Sciences & Health in the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) at the Houses of Parliament. It was then strengthened by substantial exposure to TA practices at international level, gained by managing the activities (at work package level) of two European projects within its Portuguese partner: a FP7 EU project about Parliaments and Civil Society in Technology Assessment (PACITA), followed by a Horizon 2020 EU project about the Genetics Clinic of the Future (GCOF).

Following the work developed in TA, she is interested to engage in rigorous, policy-relevant research exploring the social, ethical and legal implications of new and emerging technologies by focusing on the risks, benefits and opportunities that technology may pose to society. To address these complexes issues, she carries out interdisciplinary research drawing on tools and insights from different disciplines such as ethics, philosophy and social sciences. To increase the impact of her research, she is interested in creating a dialogue between academic experts and policy-makers across various disciplines to foster understanding and critical engagement and, ultimately, to contribute to knowledge-based and inclusive policy making. Her research interests lie at the intersection of biomedical technologies, ethics and society.

Áreas de Interesse || Current Research

  1. Policy and Society
  2. Technology Assessment
  3. Ethics
  4. Philosophy of Human Technology

Situação no CFCUL || Position at the CFCUL

Membro Integrado Doutorado / Post-Doc FCT


Grupos de Investigação || Research Groups

Filosofia das Ciências Humanas, Ética e Política


Projecto Pós-Doc || Post-Doc Research Project

Referência da bolsa: BPD no âmbito do projecto estratégico do CFCUL (UID/FIL/00678/2013)


Linhas Temáticas || Thematic Lines

Filosofia das Tecnologias do Humano


Participação em Projectos || Participation in Projects

• Genetics Clinic of the Future (GCOF) project financed by the EU under the section Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing of the Horizon 2020 Programme, 2015-2017 (

• Parliaments and Civil Society in Technology Assessment (PACITA) project financed by the EU under the 7th Framework Programme, 2011-2015 (


Contactos || Contacts

Campo Grande, Edificio C6, Piso 2 1749-016 Lisboa Portugal

+351 217 500 365  (Ext. 24324)

Produção Científica (Selecção) || Scientific Production (Selection)

Publicações || Publications

Chapters in edited books:
  1. Bütschi, D. and Almeida, M. (2016). Technology Assessment for Parliaments: towards reflexive governance of innovation, inKlüver, L., Nielsen, R. Ø. and Jør gensen, M-L. (Eds.): Policy-Oriented Technology Assessment Across Europe. Expanding Capacities. Palgrave Pivot, London, chapter 3.
  2. Krom, A., Almeida, M., Hennen, L., Leichteris, E., Sauter, A. and Stemer ding, D. (2016). The Future Panel on Public Health Genomics - lessons learnt & future perspectives, inKlüver, L., Nielsen, R. Ø. and Jør gensen, M-L. (Eds.): Policy-Oriented Technology Assessment Across Europe. Expanding Capaci ties. Palgrave Pivot, London, chapter 5.
  1. Jasper A. Bovenberg & Mara Almeida; Patients v. Myriad or the GDPR Access Right v. the EU Database Right; European Journal of Human Genetics (2018); [abstract]
  2. Almeida, M. (2015). Parliamentary TA in Portugal- A Compar ative Analysis of Tw o Models. In: Technology Assessment – Theory and Praxis 24/ 3 (2015), pp. 102-108.
Papers in Proceedings of a Conference:
  1. Bütschi, D. and Almeida, M. (2015). Technology Assessment and Parliaments. 2nd European TA Confer ence "The next horizon of Technology Assessment". INFORMATORIUM Praha
Publications within EU projects
  1. Almeida, M. (2016). Policy Brief on Genetics Clinic of the Future. GCOF Deliverables, No. 6.1, Lisbon: GCOF
  2. Almeida, M. (2014). Policy Hearing on Public Health Genomi cs Report. PACITA Deliverables, No.
    5.3. Lisbon: PACITA
  3. Almeida, M. (2013). Explorative Country Study: Portugal, inHennen, L. and L. (eds), Expanding the TA-landscape Country studies. PACITA Deliverables, No. 4.1 edited by PACITA consortium, chapter 7.
  4. Adam, F., Attila, Z., Almeida, M., Barland, M., Bütschi, D., Damianova, Z., Delvenne, P., Domínguez, F., Evers, J., Feresin, E., Fixdal, J., Fodor, K., Hebakova, L., Hennen, L., Jacobi , A., Kégler, Á., Leichteris, E., Klüver, L., Kozarev, V., López, B., Nentw ich, M., Nierling, L., O'Reilly, P., Folker, M. P., Peissl, W., Rosskamp, B. and Sotoudeh, M. (2012). TA Practices in Europe PACITA, in Ganzevles, J. and Van Est,
    R. (eds.). PACITA Deliverables, No. 2.2 edited by PACITA consortium
Publications for UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)
  1. Almeida M. and Border, P. Stem Cell Research (2013). POST Report
  2. Almeida, M. et al. Detecting Deception (2011), Postnote 375



Reuniões Científicas || Scientific Meetings

Comunicações / Talks
  1. 2017
    Joint Meeting Red EsCTS and Portuguese STS Network: Lost in Translation? People, Technologies, Practices and Concepts Across Boundaries
    Titleof talk:  Scientific Advice for Policy Making in Portugal
  2. 2014
    European Environment Agency, Lisbon, National Reference Centre (NRC) Forward-Looking Information and Services (FLIS) Annual Meeting
    Title of talk:  PACITA: Parliaments and Civil Society in Technology Assessment
  3. 2013
    Annual Confer ence of the PhD students of Gulbenkian Institute of Science,
    Invited for discussion panel: What is the role of scientists in decision making for science?
  4. 2010                         
    UNESCO, Paris, Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy for the Mediterranean Region
    Titleof talk:Developing a Portuguese Parliamentary Office for the Assessment of Science and Technology
Event Organization
  1. National symposium: Genetics and Data Protection", Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal, 7th June 2016
  2. Human Brain Project citizen meetings: Data protection and privacy in research, Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal, 6th February, 2016
  3. Conference "Challenges and Opportunities of Technology Assessment in Portugal", Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal, 17th March, 2015
  4. European Public Consultation on Sustainable Consumption, Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal, 25th October, 2014
  5. Parliamentary Debate on Parliamentary Technology Assessment, Assembleia da República, Lisbon, Portugal, 7-8th April, 2014
  6. Parliamentary Hearing on Genomics and Public Health, Assembleia da República, Lisbon, Portugal, 18th January, 2014
  7. 2nd Workshop of the PACITA project: Opportunities and Challenges for establishing a unit of Parliamentary Technology Assessment in Portugal, ISEG, Lisbon, Portugal, 10th September, 2012
  8. 1st Workshop of the PACITA project: Science & Technology Assessment in Portugal: present and future, CES-Lisbon, Portugal, 23rd April, 2012
Other Activities:
• Establishment of an international Interdisciplinary Genome Editing Network (I-GEN) in collaboration with the University of Oxford (
• Organization of EU citizen dialogues in Lisbon, February 6, 2016 within the Human Brain Project (HBP). The citizen dialogues were hosted in six Europeans countries and focused on privacy issues of using personal health data in research.
• Collaboration in the global Public Consultation on Climate and Energy organized by ICS-Lisbon University, which took place in Lisbon, June 6, 2015, as part of the Paris-Climate Conference in December 2015 (COP21).