The role of scientists in society – discussion & award ceremony ORS awards

Thursday 17 Nov 2022, 15:00 - 17:00

Van der Goot M1-17 (Tokyo)

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Discussie tijdens Science Hotel
Fred Ernst

The call to communicate and engage as scientists with society is getting louder and louder from, amongst others, politics, society and scientific funding agencies. The current crises – climate, inequality, Covid19 – urge for involvement and engagement of scientists. Like during the Covid19 pandemic, when science was at the heart of it all. At the same time, society is becoming increasingly polarized, making it hard and sometimes even dangerous for scientists to enter into a dialogue with society, as the increase in threats, intimidation and hate mail shows.

A conversation on the role of scientists in society and award ceremony of the first winners of the Erasmus Open & Responsible Science Awards.

During the conversation some of the following questions will be asked and discussed:

  • What should the role of scientists be?
  • Do researchers have to engage more with society, tackling real-world problems, or should they stick with publishing in top journals?
  • How to reconcile one’s position as an independent scientist with more personal and value-laden opinions?
  • How does this relate to the safety of scientists as private persons?
  • How does academic freedom relate to this, what do we mean by it and what forms of protection does the university offer you?
  • Is it the scientist's responsibility to disseminate his/her knowledge as widely as possible, or might that possibly be harmful to the objectivity of, and belief in, science? 
  • Is it wise to participate in public discussions as a scientist, or is it your moral duty.


  • Annelien Bredenoord
    Prof. Annelien Bredenoord

    Rector magnificus Erasmus University Rotterdam

  • Prof. Ronald van Raak

    Professor of Erasmian Values, ESPhil

  • Portret Marion Koopmans
    Prof. Marion Koopmans

    Professor of Public Health Virology, Erasmus MC

  • Dr. Yogi Hale Hendlin

    Environmental Philosopher and Public Health Scientist, ESPhil

  • Geert Maarse


  • Daan Stam
    Prof. Daan Stam

    Professor of Innovation Management, RSM

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