Pieter’s research focusses on the societal aspects of digital and biological technologies. His most recent work sits at the intersection of digitalisation, media, security and democracy. This resulted in several publications: Digitalisation of the news - Online news consumption, disinformation and personalisation in The Netherlands (2018), Cyber resilience with new technology – An opportunity and a necessity (2020), Digital threats to democracy - On new technology and disinformation (2020), Harmful Behaviour Online (2021) and Tackling Deepfakes in European Policy (2021). He also co-authored opinions published in national news outlets. Currently, he conducts research on digital infrastructures in space and digital dependence. He is frequently asked to comment on issues related to mis- and disinformation. Previously he contributed to research on synthetic biology, open science and blockchain. In his capacity as acquisition manager he initiates and facilitates the process that leads to strong proposals for new (international) projects across the full spectrum of the Rathenau Instituut work programme.
Since 2022 the Rathenau Instituut collaborates with the Digital Society School of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Pieter coordinates the track “Hybrid Democracy”, that focusses on (technology driven) changes in democracy.
In his research, Pieter benefits from his hands-on experience with technology. By combining co-creation methods and experience design he conducts interactive workshops and gives engaging presentations across the world, including several TEDx Talks. His understanding of the value of artistic and design research has led to the initiation of an Artist in Residence position in the Rathenau Instituut. Previously he was a guest lecturer at the Art Science interfaculty of the Royal Academy of Art. Currently he is a member of advisory committees of the Creative Industries Fund NL.
Pieter was a member of the Future Open Council and Digital Future Society Thinktank of the World Mobile Congress Barcelona and a member of the Human Practices Executive Committee of the international biotechnology student competition iGEM in Boston.
Pieter obtained a master’s degree in Life Science & Technology at the TU Delft and Leiden University with a thesis on the corona virus. During his studies he started two companies: one in software and another in e-commerce. Afterwards he worked at Accenture and co-founded award-winning biotech startup Amplino. He then turned to social innovation, covering citizen involvement in smart cities and biotech. As programme manager at Waag Society he led the teams of the Open Wetlab, Open Design Lab, TextileLab and FabLab Amsterdam. The teams created open, fair and inclusive technology in several European FP7, Horizon 2020 and Creative Europe projects. The outcomes have been displayed at numerous international art, design and science festivals and in over 25 museums. On YouTube he published vlogs on biohacking and he appeared in the Netflix documentary Unnatural Selection. He also founded the international Biohack Academy, teaching hundreds of students from the Netherlands, Brazil, USA, Spain, Italy, Serbia, Iran, China, South-Korea, Japan and Australia how to build, use and share biolabs. In 2017 he initiated a citizen science bustour that ran across nine European countries.