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


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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