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Prof. Dr. Laurens Hessels

Senior researcher
Laurens Hessels is senior researcher.


Laurens is involved in science policy and innovation policy. He works on projects about the collaboration between science and practice, coordination of research programmes, mission-driven knowledge ecosystems and evaluation of societal impact.

One day a week, Laurens works at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of Leiden University as a professor by special appointment of the Social Value of Science. This chair was established on the initiative of the Rathenau Instituut and is also funded by the Rathenau Instituut. 

Education and career

Laurens studied philosophy of science and chemistry at the University of Amsterdam. He received his PhD in 2010 at Utrecht University on a study about the societal relevance of academic research. After his PhD he has already work a number of years at the Rathenau Instituut, as a science policy researcher. Then he has also been seconded for some time to the Dutch Ministry of Education and Science to prepare the ‘Science Vision 2025’.

From 2016 until 2019 Laurens has been a senior researcher in Innovation and Valorisation at KWR Watercycle Research Institute.