Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Panel discussion on how to make impact with your science

Date: 05 February 2019
Time: 19:30 - 21:00
Location: Wageningen University, Lumen building (100), Room Lumen 1

Evening event open to all SENSE PhD candidates! Please come and join the discussion with four junior and senior scientists on how science can make an impact!

Researchers experience a pressing demand from society to create solutions for a range of urgent problems. These demands come forward most concretely in requirements for research funding to stipulate the societal relevance of your proposed study. So, how can your science be combined with societal impact?

In this panel discussion, four Wageningen researchers discuss their experience with making an impact:

Jessica Duncan’s main research focus concerns the practices and politics of participation in food policy processes, particularly the relationships (formal and non-formal) between governance organizations, systems of food provisioning, the environment, and the actors engaged in and across these spaces. More specifically, she maps the diverse ways that actors participate in policy-making processes, analysing how the resulting policies are shaped, implemented, challenged, and resisted, and she theorizes about what this means for socio-ecological transformation.

Clemens Driessen’s research starts from the idea that nature is deeply cultural. This has implications for how to understand agriculture, animals, nature and food: as locally situated and embedded in social as well as material relations. To study the 'moral geographies' around these themes he draws on a variety of approaches, from Science and Technology Studies (ethnography, history and philosophy of technology), as well as Animal Studies (multispecies ethnography) and the Environmental Humanities (arts and design, literary history, environmental philosophy). In combination these generate opportunities for experimental interventions within a 'more-than-human' geography

Arnold van Vliet is specialised in the development and coordination of citizen science networks. The main network is the Dutch phenological network Nature's Calendar ( that aims to monitor, analyse, predict and communicate the timing of life cycle events like e.g. the start of flowering, appearance of butterflies and the arrival of migratory birds. Nature's Calendar network aims to help society to adapt to climate change ecological impacts. Other examples of citizen science networks are the Mosquito Radar (, Allergy Radar (, Tick Radar (, Splashteller and the GrowApp ( Furthermore, he is specialized in communicating science to society. He is coordinating the nature news website where over fifteen nature organisations publish two nature reports per day on current developments in nature in The Netherlands. He aims to bring nature into the news domain to increase the interest of society in nature.

Cees Leeuwis is professor of Knowledge, Technology and Innovation. He studies processes of socio-technical innovation and transformation in networks, collaboration between different disciplines, research for development policy, the functioning of innovation support systems and the role of innovation platforms, communication, extension and brokers therein. He works in many Wageningen domains, including sustainable agriculture, natural resources management, poverty related diseases and inclusive value chains.

For more information: contact