Vacancy Ph.d. Project – social science or science communication

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Job description

The role and representation of scientific expertise in policy
development and public debate: a biographical approach.
Short description:
We live in a knowledge society in which expert knowledge is both
indispensable and contested. Professional practices and policy
development are expected to be science-based, but at the same time we
recognize that the complexity of our world is beyond the grasp of any
single form of expertise. Against this backdrop we are interested in
the ways in which science-based expert knowledge is used and
represented in our society. This involves a set of important questions.
Are experts merely specialists, for example, generating data to be used
by professional policy makers? Or do they have the right or even the
obligation to enter broader disputes on the relationships between
science and society? To what extent are experts seen as credible,
trustworthy and independent? Is it possible to develop a typology of
forms of expertise, each with its own objectives and standards? Various
pitfalls as well as best practices will be distinguished. We will opt
for an interactive, biographical approach. We want to study (on a
case-by-case basis) the recruitment of experts and the genesis of their
societal visibility. Eventually, the status of science and society
research itself will be at stake. On the one hand, we want to describe
and analyse the ways in which expert knowledge is used and represented,
but eventually it is our intention to develop a critical assessment.


University Graduate
a master degree in phylosophy, science communication, science studies or social science


Radboud University Nijmegen Faculteit der Natuurwetenschappen, Wiskunde en Informatica
Strategically located in Europe, Radboud
University Nijmegen is one of the leading academic communities in the
Netherlands. A place with a personal touch, where top-flight education
and research take place on a beautiful green campus in modern buildings
with state-of-art facilities.

Institutional setting
The Department of Philosophy and Science Studies has a substantial
track record in Science and Society research. The Department’s Centre
for Society and Genomics was established in 2004. The functioning of
genomics expertise in the knowledge society is an important issue at
this centre. Moreover, for many years, the Department has been involved
in educational activities concerning the knowledge society (science and
society courses as well as philosophy courses). Moreover, in 2003, we
set up a master track in Science Communication for science students. In
2005, the Department (together with the CSG and the Science
Communication master track) became part of the Institute of Science,
Innovation and Society (ISIS), one of the 5 research institutes of the
Faculty of Science, and one of the 22 research institutes of Radboud
University Nijmegen. ISIS’s mission is to understand, assess and
improve the interaction between science, technology and society. In
other words, the PhD project is firmly embedded in our research and
educational activities, both thematically and institutionally.

Conditions of employment

Estimated maximum salary per month: eur 2000 – 2500

Maximum salary amount in Euro’s a month 2472
Employment basis: Temporary for specified period
Duration of the contract: one year, with a possible extention to four years
Maximum hours per week: 40

Additional Information

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from:

Project Manager & Supervisor:
Prof. Dr. Hub Zwart
Telephone number: +31 (0)24 3652038
E-mail address:
Or additional information can be obtained through one of the following links.

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You can’t apply for this job anymore. The application was closed at: 06-11-2006.

Faculteit der Natuurwetenschappen, Wiskunde en Informatica
P & O
Postbus 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen

E-mail address:

2006-11-06 00:00:00.0

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