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.
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.
Science and Technology Studies
(with links to sociology, policy science, environmental sciences,...)
boundaries of science
scientific expertise for public policy
science and democracy
amateur science, local knowledge
theories in science studies
Main areas of specialty:
Ecology, eco/toxicology, regulation of chemicals
nature management, field biology
the (Dutch) advisory sector
Sociology of science and knowledge
Various science and society courses (biology, chemistry)
Policy, ethics and media (for forensic scientists)
topics in Policy Sciences
Several Master and Bachelor theses.
PhD thesis Annick de Vries ('Uncertainty in scientific policy advice and
decision making', 2004-2008).
Extensive experience with Dutch science foundation, government (advisory
sector), and EC Commission work.
||Lecturer, Philosophy and Science Studies,
Radboud University Nijmegen
Co-coordinator PhD training programme of the research school Science,
Technology and Modern Culture.
||Lecturer, Science, Technology, Health and
Policy Studies, Twente University.
Political Science, University of Amsterdam.
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”
research and consultant (Rathenau Institute, Royal Academy of Sciences,...)
Lecturer at Science and Technology Dynamics, University of Amsterdam
and contract research
“Assistant managing editor”
van Science, Technology, & Human Values, journal of the Society
for the Social Studies of Science.
of Zeno, magazine on science, technology, and society.
at Science and Technology Dynamics, University of Amsterdam
National graduate school Science and Technology
Studies, The Netherlands.
‘Special License’ Science Studies, Free
University of Brussels, cum laude.
Masters Programme Sociology, Columbia
University, NY, USA, interrupted.
‘Licence’ Sociology, Free
University of Brussels, both years cum laude.
‘Candidate’ Political and Social
Sciences, St. Ignatius University Antwerp, both years cum laude.