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Prof. Dr. Laurens Hessels

Senior researcher / Coordinator research quality
Prof. Dr. Laurens Hessels is senior researcher and coordinator research quality.


Laurens researches science and innovation policies, both at the national and European level. He works on questions about knowledge co-creation, mission-oriented policies and societal impact of science. As the coordinator research quality of the Rathenau Instituut, he contributes to the internal learning capacity by evaluating completed projects, exchanging knowledge within the institute and collaboration with universities.

Education and career

Beside his work at the Rathenau Instituut, Laurens is a professor by special appointment at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University. His chair deals with the societal value of science.

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.