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Dr. Simone Harmsen

Simone Harmsen
Dr. Simone Harmsen works as a researcher at the Rathenau Instituut.


Simone is interested in strengthening the dialogue between health science and society. She has expertise in establishing dialogue between scientists, policy makers and citizens of all backgrounds. She likes to think about what different audiences need in order to achieve a constructive conversation. Both her PhD research and her experience as an educational author come in handy in this regard. Currently she has a specific interest in (developing) new and creative methods for research and dialogue.

Education and career

Simone studied Biology, with a specialization in Biomedical Sciences, and has a master's degree in Science Communication. She then worked for several years as an educational author and science journalist. To dive deeper into a subject, she went to work as a researcher and lecturer at the Athena Institute at the Free University of Amsterdam. There, commissioned by ZonMw and various health funds, among others, she worked on projects that try to give patients' perspectives more hearing in science and care, for example in youth health care and rheumatology. This resulted in a dissertation on how patient participation can be embedded in the culture, structure and practice of Dutch health research.