Living with Uncertainty

On September 23 2021, a group of artists, scientists and healthcare professionals talked about living with uncertainty. This was the second public dialogue in the context of the 385th anniversary of Utrecht University and the University Medical Center Utrecht.

Room for uncertainty 

Life is uncertain: the current pandemic has once again clearly shown this to us. But how do we deal with uncertainty? Can modern humans still do that? After all, sometimes it seems as if there is no room at all for uncertainty and doubt. We have to be successful in our personal, social, and professional lives, and vulnerability and ambiguity seem to have no place in this.

However, we must ask ourselves whether this is a desirable situation. If we cannot tolerate uncertainty, there is little room for the mistakes that we all inevitably make – and also have to make in order to learn from them – and we easily go too far with our far-reaching urge to control, both personally and in our organizations. In doing so, we are not only putting considerable pressure on the quality of our own lives, but also on our (professional) culture.


  • Prof. dr. Arno Hoes is professor of Clinical Epidemiology of General Practice at Utrecht University and dean of the Faculty of Medicine.
  • Prof. dr. Wim Kremer is professor of Farm Animal Health at Utrecht University and initiator of the interdisciplinary bachelor's degree program 'Care, Health & Society'. 
  • Esther Bruggink, MFA is a visual artist, museum teacher, and tour guide at the Rijksmuseum.
  • Drs. Jacqueline Kool is a board member of ZonMW, writer, and consultant & researcher Disability Studies.