The Netherlands: from the first science information officers to the Dutch Research Agenda

Anne M. Dijkstra*, Frans van Dam, Maarten Van der Sanden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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Science communication efforts in the Netherlands started with exhibitions in national history museums in the 19th century and popular articles about science and technology in the media in the 1930s. From the 1950s onwards, the Dutch government stimulated popularisation of science and technology as a way to foster the science–society relationship. Democratic, and later economic and cultural considerations were the reasons for setting up one-way and two-way science communication. This may explain why attitudes towards science and technology have largely been positive compared to most other European countries, but at the same time not all new technologies are accepted. Genetic modification is an example of a topic that raised a lot of debate in the 1990s; today, opposing views on vaccination show that acceptance of science and technology is not straightforward in the Netherlands. Science communication efforts are visible in many ways in Dutch society via organisations, events and activities. These are supported or organised by both private and public partners. Nowadays, Dutch researchers are increasingly stimulated to engage with society—for instance, via the Dutch Research Agenda. Science communication in the Netherlands can build on a rich variety of expertise and inputs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunicating Science
Subtitle of host publicationA Global Perspective
EditorsToss Gascoigne, Bernard Schiele, Joan Leach, Michelle Riedlinger, Bruce V. Lewenstein, Luisa Massarani, Peter Broks
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherAustralian National University
ISBN (Electronic)9781760463663
ISBN (Print)9781760463656
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


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