The recognition and appreciation of the scientist of the future will be the subject of our discussion with established and young scientists, researchers, funding organisations and civil-society partners.

Vision on scientist 2030. Panel and discussion

Panel members:

  • Dr. Hannah Bosma, postdoc-researcher, University of Amsterdam
  • Prof. dr. Sarah de Rijcke, directeur Centre for Science and Technology Studies University Leiden
  • Dr. ir. Bas (B.W.) Borsje, assistent professor/universitair docent water engineering and management University Twente
  • Drs. Rob van Gassel, PNN en promovendus Maastricht University
  • Dr. Joeri van Leeuwen, senior scientist at ASTRON, The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy

Is science in need of renewal? Society as a whole takes a critical view of the value and function of science. The recognition and appreciation of scientists relies strongly on citations and impact factors and scientists face serious pressures in terms of their time and their performance in both research and teaching. But what does the current system say about their contribution to science or to society? Is it time to consider a completely new set of competencies for tomorrow’s scientists?

In the Fokker Terminal in The Hague on 23 May, 2019, ZonMw and NWO are organising the conference 'Evolution or revolution? Join the conversation about the scientist of 2030'. You are warmly welcome to attend – sign up and share your vision.

Join the conversation online: #wetenschapper2030


  • Mr. Drs. Anne de Vries (Candidate Network of the Netherlands)
Anne de Vries
Anne de Vries

Moderator drs. Maria Henneman

9.30-10.00 uur

Reception and registration

10.00 -12.00 uur (simultaneous English translation available)

Opening of the conference Minister of Education, Culture & Science opens the conference with a brief video message.

Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven
Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven

Discussion about the scientist of 2030, with Prof. Jeroen Geurts, ZonMw President and Prof. Stan Gielen, NWO President.

Jeroen Geurts
Jeroen Geurts
Stan Gielen
Stan Gielen

What will the scientist of 2030 be like? Prof. Rianne Letschert, Rector Magnificus at Maastricht University takes a look ahead.

Rianne Letschert
Rianne Letschert

How did our current system of appreciating and rewarding scientists come about? A brief overview and discussion with Prof. Barend van der Meulen, Head of Research at the Rathenau Institute.

Barend van der Meulen
Barend van der Meulen

The importance of science for society. Report and discussion with Prof. Jet Bussemaker, Professor of Policy, Science and Societal Impact (particularly in healthcare) on the importance of science for society.

Jet Bussemaker
Jet Bussemaker

Column: How can you ensure that science communication becomes more than just an amusing hobby? By Prof. Ionica Smeets, Professor of Science Communication at Leiden University.

Ionica Smeets
Ionica Smeets

The dream of a research funder. Discussion with Prof. Jeroen Geurts on the researcher of 2030

12.00 uur


13.15 uur

Discussion about the European perspective on science with Jean-Eric Paquet, Director-General, Research and Innovation, European Commission (in English).

Jean-Eric Paquet
Jean-Eric Paquet

13.30-14.30 uur

Break-out sessions (Will be held in English)

1. Teaching versus research

How can the appreciation of scientists take account of teaching activities? Research and teaching are scientists’ two main roles. Despite this, teaching often counts less towards appraisals. How do you strike a healthy balance between education and research and how do you encourage and value efforts to achieve quality teaching?

Moderator: dr. Ivo van Vulpen, associate professor of physics University of Amsterdam.

2. Team players versus superstars

Can both exist alongside each other? Traditionally, science has been an individualistic pursuit, but the age of the solitary scientist appears to be over. Major questions are now being answered in teams. But how do you assess and appraise teams? What makes someone a good team member and how do you assess these qualities? And are teams inevitable and useful in every discipline?

Moderators: Prof.dr. Sarah de Rijcke, director of Centre for Science and Technology Studies Leiden University, Jeroen de Ridder, associate professor of philosophy VU Amsterdam and Hester den Ruijter associate professor of experimental cardiology.

3. Skills

What do we expect from a scientist? The current system places significant demands on scientists. Outstanding research, innovative teaching, integrity, inspirational leadership and societal impact are key requirements. But does a scientist have to be capable of everything? Does the wide-ranging skill set required prioritise generalists and is that desirable? What is the ideal profile of the scientist of the future?

Moderators: dr. Martijn Kleppe, head of research Koninklijke Bibliotheek and dr. Christine Teelken, associate professor VU Amsterdam.

4. Indicators versus narratives

How do you measure quality? The current system focuses primarily on bibliometric output factors (h-index and Journal Impact Factor). Do these indicators have a future or does there need to be less focus on output and more on the process and on relevance? There is also increasing demand for narratives. But how do these relate to the quantitative factors and how do you make them comparable?

Moderators: dr. Ingeborg Meijer, senior researcher Centre for Science & Technology Studies Leiden University and drs. Rinze Benedictus, staff advisor research, UMC Utrecht & PhD candidate, CWTS Leiden University.

5. The Netherlands versus the rest of the world

Is it bad to be a trailblazer? The revolution has to start somewhere, so why not in the Netherlands? Are we really ready for it? What do these developments mean for the position of Dutch scientists in the rest of the world, especially young researchers and lecturers? Is it not actually better to make progress in small steps?

Moderator: dr. Daniël Lakens, assistant professor, Human-Technology Interaction, TU Eindhoven

6. Inclusivity versus the unwritten rules

Dutch people with a non-Western migration background do not feature predominantly among those currently entering the world of science. Equally, qualified women tend to be those who are leaving it. What impact do the unwritten rules in the science world have on diversity and inclusion? How do we ensure that the new system offers equal opportunities for all?

Moderator: dr. Carolin Ossenkop, Connectify diversity coaching & consulting

14.30-15.00 uur


15.00-16.00 uur

Panel and discussion in the hall on the most important results of the break-out sessions and propositions.

Panel members:

  • Prof. Belle Derks (Jonge Akademie)
  • Prof. Jeroen Geurts
  • Prof. Stan Gielen
  • Jean-Eric Paquet
  • Prof. Hanneke Takkenberg (Dutch National Network of Female Professors, LNVH)
Hanneke Takkenberg
Hanneke Takkenberg
Belle Derks
Belle Derks
Read more about the lecturers and panel members
Dit item is dichtgeklapt
Dit item is opengeklapt

Mr. Drs. Ingrid van Engelshoven, Minister of Education, Culture and Science

Van Engelshoven started her career in 1989 as a policy officer for the House of Representatives parliamentary group D66. She was secretary of the House of Representatives parliamentary group from 1994 until 1996. After that, she worked as an adviser at the Netherlands Bar Association and Pauw & Van Spaendonck. From 2000 until 2004, Van Engelshoven was Head of Strategy at the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management and from 2004 until 2008, she served as Director of the Foundation for Responsible Alcohol Consumption (Stichting Verantwoord Alcoholgebruik). She then became partner for Public Affairs and Corporate Communication at Dröge en Van Drimmelen. In 2010, Ingrid van Engelshoven became Deputy Mayor for Education and Services for D66 in the Municipality of The Hague. From 2014 until 2017, she was Deputy Mayor for the Knowledge Economy, International Affairs, Youth and Education in The Hague. On 23 March 2017, she became a Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives for D66, focusing on such areas as interior affairs, police, the civil service and copyright. On 26 October 2017, Ingrid van Engelshoven was appointed to the position of Minister of Education, Culture and Science in the second government led by Premier Mark Rutte.

Prof. Dr. Jeroen Geurts, Professor of Translational Neuroscience at Amsterdam UMC, VUmc Amsterdam location and President of ZonMw

ZonMw President since 1 January 2017, Prof. Jeroen Geurts is a member of the Executive Board of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). He works in brain research and is Professor of Translational Neuroscience at VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam.
He studied neurobiology at the University of Amsterdam, conducting research into the neurological disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He then began to specialise in clinical neuroscience. After his degree, he was awarded a doctorate cum laude at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for his research into damage to grey matter in multiple sclerosis (MS). Although he continues to work on MS, his team now also studies other neuro-degenerative disorders, such as Parkinson and Alzheimer. In addition to his academic work, Jeroen also aims to make science accessible to a wider public.

Prof. dr. C.C.A.M. (Stan) Gielen, President Executive Board NWO

Stan Gielen (1952) studied experimental physics and gained his PhD in biophysics at Radboud University in Nijmegen. As of 1 October he is President of NWO. His first term as president of the Executive Board of NWO ends 1 October 2021.

From 1980 to 1988 he worked at Utrecht University and during this time he spent periods in the United States at Northwestern University and the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1988 he was appointed Professor of Biophysics at the Faculty of Science at Radboud University and in 1995 this professorship was extended to include Radboudumc. He was and is active in a wide variety of committees and organisations, he was the initiator of the Foundation for Neural Networks and he is the co-founder of a spin-off company. At a national level his further experience ranges from director of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour to president of the board of Nikhef and president of the supervisory board of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA).

In an international context Gielen has, amongst other things, been a member of the Executive Board of the European Neural Networks Society and the Life Science Working Group of the European Space Agency. In 2009 he was elected a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Until 1 September 2016, Stan Gielen (1952) was Professor of Biophysics and Dean of the Faculty of Science at Radboud University in Nijmegen.

Prof. dr. Rianne Letschert, Rector Magnificus Universiteit Maastricht

Prof. Rianne Letschert was appointed to the position of Rector Magnificus at Maastricht University on 1 September 2016. Prof. Letschert (1976) studied International Law at Tilburg University, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Montpellier. She was awarded her doctorate at Tilburg University. In March 2011, Letschert was made Professor of the new chair in Victimology and International Law at Tilburg University. In May 2015, Professor Letschert was awarded a VIDI grant by the NWO for her research into the impact of international tribunals on societies and people confronted by serious breaches of human rights and international crime. In 2012, she became a member of The Young Academy (De Jonge Akademie), part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), and was appointed to the post of President In April 2015. She is now no longer a member of The Young Academy.

Prof. dr. Barend van der Meulen, Head of Research at the Rathenau Instituut

Barend van der Meulen is Head of Research at the Rathenau Instituut and Endowed Professor in Evidence for Science Policy at Leiden University. For almost thirty years, he has been conducting research into science policy, the dynamism of science and the development of the Dutch knowledge system. He has published on a range of subjects, including quality in science and the evaluation of research, academic careers, financing and funding models and the role of research-funding agencies – including research councils and the European Union. Recently, he has spearheaded projects with the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) on the future of Dutch universities, for the House of Representatives on the future of the science system and he initiated the debate about universities and universities of applied sciences.

Prof. dr. Jet Bussemaker, Professor of Policy, Science and Social Impact at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and Leiden University

rof. Jet Bussemaker (1961) is Professor of Policy, Science and Social Impact, especially in healthcare, at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and Leiden University. She previously served as Minister of Education, Culture and Science (2012-2017) and State-Secretary of Public Health, Welfare and Sport (2007-2010).  
Before that, she spent almost ten years as a member of the House of Representatives for the PvdA (Labour Party). From 2011 to 2012, she was Rector of HvA Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and a member of the Executive Board at the University of Amsterdam, where she also studied (Political Sciences, cum laude, 1986) and completed her doctorate (1993).  
In addition to her work as a professor, Bussemaker holds several administrative positions, including chairing the cooperative board of PGGM, chairing the Advisory Board of the Nuffic Orange Knowledge Programme and serving as a supervisory board member at First Dutch Innovations. She is chairing the judging panel for the Libris Literature Prize 2019. Starting on 1 June 2019, Bussemaker will succeed Pauline Meurs as chair of the Dutch Council for Health and Society.

Prof. dr. ir. Ionica Smeets, Professor of Science Communication at Leiden University

Since 2015, Ionica Smeets has been Professor of Science Communication and head of the Science Communication department at Leiden University. Her research focuses on the gulf between experts and the general public. What is it that goes wrong when these groups communicate with each other? What can scientists do to improve this process? She also works as an independent science journalist, and has been a columnist for De Volkskrant since 2009. Smeets completed her Master’s in Applied Mathematics cum laude at TU Delft in 2005.

Jean-Eric Paquet Director-General DG Research and Innovation

Jean-Eric Paquet has been appointed Director-General of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission since 1 April 2018. Mr Paquet began his career in the European Commission in 1993 in the Directorate-General for Transport, in the International Relations area, and later as assistant to the Transport Director-General, Robert Coleman. In 1999 he joined the office of Mr Verheugen (Member of the European Commission in charge of enlargement). In 2002 he became the deputy head of office of P. Busquin, member of the European Commission in charge of Research policy. Mr Paquet was EU Ambassador in the Islamic republic of Mauritania between 2004 and 2007. He returned to transport in 2007 where he led the development of the Trans-European Transport Network policy. As Director for the "European Mobility Network" he was responsible for Europe's transport infrastructure policy and investment strategies, the single European rail area, inland waterways and port policy. He joined DG Enlargement in November 2013 where he took over the Directorate in charge of relations with Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo. In January 2015 he became Director for Western Balkans, adding Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to his portfolio. In November 2015 he was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the European Commission responsible for Better Regulation and Policy Coordination (economic governance, internal market and competitiveness, resource efficiency and employment, education and social policies).

Prof. dr. Hanneke Takkenberg, chair of the Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNVH).

Hanneke Takkenberg (1966) is a clinical epidemiologist and professor of clinical decision making in cardiothoracic interventions at the department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery in Erasmus University Medical Center  in Rotterdam. She is married and has 4 daughters.

After obtaining her MD at VU in 1994, she worked for 2 years in Los Angeles, and then returned to The Netherlands to pursue a scientific career in clinical cardiovascular practice. In 2002 she obtained her PhD in cardiovascular clinical epidemiology at Erasmus University Rotterdam and started her research group in Erasmus MC. In 2007 she co-founded with Jolien Roos-Hesselink VENA, the Erasmus MC Network of Academic Women. In 2012 she was appointed professor.

Hanneke is a scientific leader in the field of heart valve disease and currently president-elect of the Heart Valve Society (HVS). Her research focuses on clinical decision making and patient empowerment including translation of this knowledge to clinical practice through the development and implementation of patient information portals and decision aids for patients with heart disease.
Gender diversity, D&I as a tool to improve research and achieving an inclusive scientific community were cornerstones of her work as Chief Diversity Officer at Erasmus University (2015-2019). Professor Takkenberg is chair of the Erasmus Female Professors Network board and advisory board member for Erasmus Center for Women and Organisations. Since April 2019, Takkenberg chairs the Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNVH).

Prof. dr. Belle Derks, President of The Young Academy and Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology at Utrecht University

Belle Derks is President of The Young Academy and Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology at Utrecht University. Her research focuses on the psychological consequences of the negative stereotypes faced by women and ethnic minorities in employment and education & training. For this research, she has been awarded a range of research grants, including the NWO VENI (2008) and NWO VIDI (2015).

Mr. Drs. Anne de Vries, President of the PhD Candidate Network of the Netherlands

Anne de Vries is president of the PhD Candidate Network of the Netherlands (PNN) and a PhD researcher in law at Tilburg University. With PNN she represents the interests of PhD candidates in the Netherlands. PNN strives, amongst other things, for a high quality PhD system, open science and a good working climate and career track for PhD candidates. De Vries has also been a member of her local university council and PhD representation, which inspired her to write columns on academic culture.
De Vries graduated (cum laude) in law in 2014. In her PhD project as well as in a European research collaboration research, she focuses on legal problems with intermediaries and online platforms. In addition she is active in the field of environmental and pesticide law.


Join the conversation about the scientist of 2030. We want to hear what you think about the recognition and appreciation of the scientist of the future.



The conference will take place at the Fokker Terminal, Binckhorstlaan 249, 2516 BB The Hague.

Roadmap to Fokker Terminal

Moderator Maria Henneman

Maria Henneman
Maria Henneman

Drs. Maria Henneman is the owner/director of Henneman Strategies BV. This agency for crisis communication and reputation management offers clients advice, research, training/coaching and discussion & dialogue. Henneman holds several administrative and supervisory positions, including at Radboud University, at the Radboud UMC, in Regional Public Broadcasting and at Clingendael, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations. Maria Henneman is very much in demand as a moderator for strategic sessions and large symposia.
After studying history, Henneman began her career as a policy adviser for the union movement, making a name for herself in the Netherlands and internationally as a journalist and policy and media adviser. Previous positions include editor-in-chief of the TV current affairs programme Netwerk and reporter and presenter on NOS-Journaal news.

Questions and information

About your registration?

Please contact the conference information desk

About the programme?

Please contact Marlies van Velzen, or Cassandra Appelman,


Join the conversation online #wetenschapper2030

Photography: Ionica Smeets - Ype Driessen; Photo's lecturers and panel members supplied


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