Public Engagement at Research Institutes in the Netherlands: Fertile Territory or Terra Nullius?

Pedro Russo, Robert Bergsvik, Julia Cramer, Anne Kerkhoven, Selina Van Den Oever

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Netherlands has more than seven decades of specific policies and programmes in science communication. Since the 1950s, public communication of science and technology has been the main strategy of the Dutch government for bridging gaps between science and society. In the Dutch research landscape, there are different stakeholders involved in public engagement with science activities, such as science museums, media, not-for-profit organisations and universities. For this study, we focused on public engagement activities at the research institute (RI) level. We surveyed 821 institutes and, based on a response rate of 14.3%, the data suggest that the Dutch RIs host an active and fertile research community in terms of public communication of science. This study also provides evidence that RIs with specific public engagement plans perform better than RIs without them. However, this study also highlights large differences between the science communication policy setting in the Dutch Research Agenda and policy implementation at RI levels and indicates a need for a clarification in terms coordination and responsibility for institutional public engagement implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPublic Communication of Research Universities
Subtitle of host publication'Arms Race' for Visibility or Science Substance?
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781000580549
ISBN (Print)9780367461355
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


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