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Short CV


Short bio:

Willem Halffman studied social and political sciences in Antwerp, sociology at the Free University of Brussels and at Columbia University, New York, with specialisation in sociology of science. In the nineties, he worked at the former Department of Science and Technology Dynamics at the University of Amsterdam, where he cooperated on various advisory projects on environmental hazards and the use of insights of science and technology studies in policy making. There he also wrote a dissertation about the development of ecotoxicological knowledge for the regulation of environmental hazards of chemical substances in the Netherlands, England and the US. The dissertation was defended cum laude at the University of Amsterdam in March 2003.  Afterwards, he worked as a postdoc at Twente and the University of Amsterdam and as lecturer in policy sciences at the department of Science, Technology, and Policy Studies (STEPS) at Twente University. Since 2010, he is a lecturer at the Department of Philosophy and Science Studies at Nijmegen University. He is one of the co-ordinators of the Phd training programme of the Dutch Graduate Research School of Science, Technology, and Modern Culture.

His main research interests involve the problems and tensions that arise when (scientific) experts advise policy makers. This includes: the organization of the science/policy boundary, patterns of exclusion of knowledge, or ramifications for the democratic quality of decision making. He has studied experts in their advisory activities to public policy in a variety of domains, including environmental hazards of chemicals, nature conservation, regional planning, and fisheries. He is interested in how boundaries around expertise are negotiated and institutionalised, including especially in relation to competing fields of expertise, lay and local knowledge, or experts and their clients among policy makers. Specific recent research topics include the involvement of NGOs in environmental research and 'amateur' science.

 

 

Research field:

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Science and Technology Studies
(with links to sociology, policy science, environmental sciences,...)

Selected topics:

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boundaries of science

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scientific expertise for public policy

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science and democracy

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amateur science, local knowledge

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theories in science studies

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...

Main areas of specialty:

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Ecology, eco/toxicology, regulation of chemicals

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environmental studies

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nature management, field biology

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planning

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natural history

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the (Dutch) advisory sector

Teaching experience:

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Sociology of science and knowledge

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Various science and society courses (biology, chemistry)

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Policy, ethics and media (for forensic scientists)

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topics in Policy Sciences

Supervision:

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Several Master and Bachelor theses.

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PhD thesis Annick de Vries ('Uncertainty in scientific policy advice and decision making', 2004-2008).

Contract research:

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Extensive experience with Dutch science foundation, government (advisory sector), and EC Commission work.

 

 

Positions

Academic
2010- Lecturer, Philosophy and Science Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen
2008-2013 Co-coordinator PhD training programme of the research school Science, Technology and Modern Culture.
2008-2010 Lecturer, Science, Technology, Health and Policy Studies, Twente University.
2007 Department of Political Science, University of Amsterdam.
2002-2006

Post-doc and lecturer at the department of Science, Technology, Health and Policy Studies, Twente University.
NWO project “Rethinking Political Judgement and Science-based Expertise”

1999-2001

Contract research and consultant (Rathenau Institute, Royal Academy of Sciences,...)

1998-1999

Lecturer at Science and Technology Dynamics, University of Amsterdam

1995-1998

Consultancy and contract research

1996

“Assistant managing editor” van Science, Technology, & Human Values, journal of the Society for the Social Studies of Science.

1993-1996

Co-editor of Zeno, magazine on science, technology, and society.

1991-1994

Phd position at Science and Technology Dynamics, University of Amsterdam

Education
1991-1993

National graduate school Science and Technology Studies, The Netherlands.

1990-1991

‘Special License’ Science Studies, Free University of Brussels, cum laude.

1988-1989

Masters Programme Sociology, Columbia University, NY, USA, interrupted.

1986-1988

‘Licence’ Sociology, Free University of Brussels, both years cum laude.

1984-1986

‘Candidate’ Political and Social Sciences, St. Ignatius University Antwerp, both years cum laude.