Smit, J.P., MSc

Valorization of Scientific Knowledge: Philosophy, History, and Policy

Institute of Philosophy, Leiden University,

Supervisors: Dr. J.W. McAllister, Professor Frans de Haas



BSc Bèta-Gamma (major: Physical Chemistry), University of Amsterdam, 2007–2011
Philosophy, Thomas More Scholarship, KU Leuven, 2011–2012

MSc History & Philosophy of Science, Utrecht University, 2012–2015
Exchange Student, Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles, autumn 2013
Internship, Rathenau Institute, The Hague, spring 2014

MSc thesis: Purity in an Impure World: Ernst Cohen’s ‘General Chemistry’ in Early-20th-century Netherlands


Much debate about universities and science at present revolves around the concept of “valorization of scientific knowledge”. Governments use the concept to encourage universities, funding councils, and individual researchers to be more responsive to societal needs and taxpayer interests; university boards use it as a criterion in faculty reorganizations and hiring policies; and some protest groups use it to highlight the creeping commercialization of knowledge and of academic institutions to the detriment of intellectual freedom. This project examines the notion of valorization of scientific knowledge with particular reference to the Dutch case from the viewpoints of philosophy, history, and policy studies. It aims at answering questions including: what are the epistemological presuppositions of calls for scientific knowledge to have societal impact? How does the latest wave of Dutch valorization policies relate to previous conceptions of the social relevance of science? And what side effects and unintended consequences can we expect if we require scientific research to demonstrate societal value?



De Jong, S. P. L., Smit, J., & van Drooge, L. (2015) Scientists’ Perception of Societal Impact Policies: A Policy Paradox. Science and Public Policy, doi: 10.1093/scipol/scv023.

Smit, J. (2014). Nuclei in a Supersaturated Solution: Utrecht Chemists and the Crystallization of International Relations after the First World War. Studium: Tijdschrift voor Wetenschaps- en Universiteits-Geschiedenis, 7 (3), 190–208.

Smit, J. (2014). Het voetenwerk van valorisatie—op gespannen voet met beleid. Rathenau Instituut, Den Haag.

Smit, J. (2014). De toekomst van de wetenschap: ken het verleden.

Smit, J. (2014). Oh dus dát is valorisatie!

De Jong, S., van Drooge, L., & Smit, J. (2014) Back from the Future: A Look at the Rise of the Third Mission. EU-SPRI 2014 Conference blog.

Smit, J. (2014). Embedded in History. An Interview with Professor M. Norton Wise.

Smit, J. (2014). A Rambo Trilogy in Early Modern Europe.

Smolarek S., Vdovin A., Perrier D. L., Smit J. P., Drabbels M., Buma W. J. (2010). High-resolution Excitation and Absorption Spectroscopy of Gas-phase p-coumaric Acid: Unveiling an Elusive Chromophore. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 132 (18), 6315–6317.