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Patricia Osseweijer receives Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship

Patricia Osseweijer, Professor of Science Communication from Delft University of Technology, wins the Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship 2015/16 for her research on the transition from a fossil to a bio-based economy.

Bridging the gap

During the fellowship, Patricia Osseweijer will focus on how we can make the transition to a sustainable bio-based economy. This will depend on developing new technological solutions as well as society adopting innovations. While technology-driven research explores what is possible from a techno-economic perspective, the social sciences look at what is desirable from a societal perspective. However, mutual inspiration seems to be hampered by jargon and, more importantly, by differing thought processes. Although both approaches aim for a sustainable bio-based world, they base their problem definitions, analysis and solutions on different worldviews. This confuses citizens, policy makers and investors. The ambition is to encourage mutual understanding and respect in order to create integrated designs that take the complexity of overall value chains into account in an international setting. In this way  technology and social development can strengthen each other in achieving a sustainable future.


Patricia Osseweijer

Prof. Patricia Osseweijer is Full Professor Science Communication at Delft University of Technology, where she is leads the Section Biotechnology and Society at the Faculty of Applied Sciences. She also manages the program ‘Societal embedding of a Sustainable Biobased Society’ of the Public-Private Partnership BE-Basic. She has published over seventy articles, and delivered more than eighty (invited) conference presentations. Osseweijer’s outreach activities include the “Imagine” science communication project for secondary schools.

“Osseweijer’s CV not only testifies of an intrinsically interdisciplinary attitude towards research but also of great scientific leadership. It is a project with a high valorization potential, one that may contribute to safeguarding the planet for future generations,” according to the advisory board’s report.


The Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship

The Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship (DLF) is awarded to a leading scientist working on research that brings together perspectives from the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Technological Sciences. It is set up by the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW) and the Lorentz Center Leiden. The award consists of a residential fellowship at NIAS, an international workshop at the Lorentz Center and a personal prize of €10,000. The Fellowship is part of the NIAS-Lorentz Program, promoting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research. Previous DLF’s include mathematical economist Cars Hommes, and musicologist Henkjan Honing. Patricia Osseweijer, will receive the award from Sijbolt Noorda, Chair of the NIAS-Lorentz Advisory Board, in a ceremony at NIAS on 26 March 2015.