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Ionica Smeets honorary doctorate during the Dies Natalis Open University

by News Room
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He received an honorary doctorate because he is an example of how science communication can bridge the gap between experts and the general public. Ionica Smeets is a great advocate of the importance of science communication research and training researchers to do so. The honorary doctorate will be awarded in connection with the 40th anniversary of the Open University on Thursday, September 26, 2024.

Good science communication with impact

By awarding an honorary doctorate, the Open University wants to show its appreciation for prof. Dr. Ionica Smeets’ efforts to make science accessible to a wide audience. With books for adults and children, TV programs and lectures, with which he reaches a large audience, as well as with his research in science communication. Rector Magnificus Theo Bastiaens: “Making science available is fully in line with the basic values ​​of an open university. Doing scientific research that affects society is very important. And good science communication ensures that society also knows what change or added value or information this research brings us. Ionica Smeets helps to confirm the connection between research and society and to improve science communication through their research.We express our respect for that!

Achieving science

Ionica Smeets (1979) graduated with a master’s degree in applied mathematics from Delft University of Technology in 2005, a PhD from Leiden University in 2010 and has been a professor of science communication there since 2015. In her chair, Ionica Smeets studies the gap between experts and the general public. What goes wrong when these groups communicate with each other? And what can scientists do to improve this process?

In addition to his work at Leiden University, he is an independent science journalist and writes columns for de Volkskrant. Together with Alex Verkade, he is the head of the new National Center for Science and Society (NEWS) on behalf of the outgoing Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Robbert Dijkgraaf. This should strengthen the possibilities and effectiveness of science communication.

In 2023, Ionica Smeets received the Iris medal for excellent science communication. On television, he was the (co)host of National Science Quiz and Eureka. He also gives lectures and has written several books. The children’s book Rekenen voor je leven, which Smeets made with Edward van de Vendel and Floor de Goede, has been awarded a silver griffel and a bronze, and is now published in six languages.

Demonstration

The honorary doctorate will be awarded in connection with the 40th anniversary of the Open University on Thursday, September 26, 2024. The honorary supervisor is Professor Dr. Ir Petra de Weerd-Nederhof, technology-driven ecosystem innovation and dean of the Faculty of Science.

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