Jeroen P. van der Sluijs's picture

Jeroen P. van der Sluijs

Professor, Theory of Science & Ethics of the Natural Sciences

My research seeks to increase our understanding of the phenomenon and dynamics of scientific controversy on contemporary old, new and emerging environmental and health risks.

My work on the conceptualization of uncertainty in science for policy and on reflective approaches to the assessment of (model) quality is internationally recognized. It has significantly advanced understanding of deep uncertainty in scientific assessment of issues such as climate change and risks of new and emerging technologies. It has inspired and enabled many scholars and science–policy interface institutions around the world to develop new ways of interfacing complex science and policymaking. Among them are Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) [lead author of ch.5 of the 2019 Making Sense of Science report]; the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency [lead author of their uncertainty guidance] and the European Environment Agency [invited chapter author of 2013 Late Lessons from Early Warnings II report].

My conceptual work on the phenomenon of uncertainty is widely cited and my various practical tools for knowledge quality assessment are now widely used in many disciplines and EU projects and on a broad range of sustainability issues.

I work or have worked on contested science in the fields of climate change, pollinator decline, fish stock assessments, endocrine disruptors, elcetromagnetic fields, nanoparticles, underground storage of CO2, risk migration in sustainable technologies.

In addition to my position as professor at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities (SVT) at UiB, I am associate professor at Utrecht University, The Netherlands and visiting professor at Coöperatieve Universiteit Amersfoort (a citizen science initiative).

Read the book "Science on the Verge" of which I am one of the authors.

Read the report "Making Sense of Science for Policy under Conditions of Uncertainty and Complexity"

Check out the presentation from the lecture Responsible Evidence Appraisal (24 August 2016)

Coordinator of the PhD course “Theory of Science and Ethics” for all PhDs in the Fac. of Mathematics & Natural Science, University of Bergen:

MNF990 Theory of Science and Ethics (formerly known as MNF490!)

Here is the schedule for the fall 2020 semester.

Selected publications:

I am currently (2020) guest-editing a special issue of Current Opinion in Insect Science on 'Pollinator decline:  human and policy dimensions', and a special issue of Frontiers of Climate on 'What is high quality knowledge for climate adaptation?'. I am (co-)author of a 4-page comment in Nature (2020: Five ways to ensure that models serve society: a manifesto, 27x cited Google Scholar; Altmetric: 1323) and 4 correspondences in Science (2018: Call to restrict neonicotinoids 25x cited Google Scholar: Altmetric: 700; 2011: Science-Policy Interface: Beyond Assessments, 78x cited Google Scholar; Altmetric: 28) and Nature (2014: Biodiversity reports need author rules, 9x cited, Altmetric: 45; 2016: Climate costing is politics, not science 8x cited, Altmetric: 30). Several of my key-papers have been translated into Japanese (11), Chinese (3) and French (4).

Academic article
  • 2020. The technique is never neutral. How methodological choices condition the generation of narratives for sustainability. Environmental Science and Policy. 87-98.
  • 2020. Pandemie post-normali. Perché CoViD-19 richiede un nuovo approccio alla scienza. Recenti Progressi in Medicina. 202-204.
  • 2020. Five ways to ensure that models serve society: a manifesto, . Nature. 482-484.
  • 2019. Toward a multi-faceted conception of co-production of climate services. Climate Services. 42-50.
  • 2019. Silver as a Constraint for a Large-Scale Development of Solar Photovoltaics? Scenario-Making to the Year 2050 Supported by Expert Engagement and Global Sensitivity Analysis. Frontiers in Energy Research.
  • 2018. Quality of epidemiological studies: Procedural rules for uncertain science for policy, a case study on bisphenol-A. Environmental Science and Policy. 80-87.
  • 2017. Analyser la qualite de l'evaluation des risques: L'exemple des perturbateurs endocriniens. Natures sciences sociétés. S72-S75.
  • 2017. An update of the Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA) on systemic insecticides. Part 2: impacts on organisms and ecosystems. Environmental science and pollution research international. 1-49.
  • 2017. A critical assessment of knowledge quality for climate adaptation in Sylhet Division, Bangladesh. Climate Risk Management. 43-58.
  • 2016. Screening regional management options for their impact on climate resilience: an approach and case study in the Venen-Vechtstreek wetlands in the Netherlands. SpringerPlus. 1-17.
  • 2016. Pollinators and Global Food Security: the Need for Holistic Global Stewardship. Food Ethics.
  • 2015. Systemic insecticides (neonicotinoids and fipronil): trends, uses, mode of action and metabolites. Environmental science and pollution research international. 5-34.
  • 2015. Risks of large-scale use of systemic insecticides to ecosystem functioning and services. Environmental science and pollution research international. 119-134.
  • 2015. Effects of neonicotinoids and fipronil on non-target invertebrates. Environmental science and pollution research international. 68-102.
  • 2015. Dealing with uncertainties in fresh water supply: experiences in the Netherlands. Water resources management. 703-725.
  • 2015. Critical appraisal of assumptions in chains of model calculations used to project local climate impacts for adaptation decision support-the case of Baakse Beek. Environmental Research Letters.
  • 2014. Uncertainty of population risk estimates for pathogens based on QMRA or epidemiology: a case study of Campylobacter in the Netherlands. Risk Analysis. 847-864.
  • 2014. Qualichem in vivo: A tool for assessing the quality of in vivo studies and its application for Bisphenol A. PLOS ONE. 16 pages.
  • 2014. Conclusions of the Worldwide Integrated Assessment on the risks of neonicotinoids and fipronil to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Environmental science and pollution research international. 148-154.
  • 2014. Bijen en insecticiden: late lessen uit vroege waarschuwingen. Milieu Dossier. 37-41.
  • 2019. Initial Guidance Framework for Knowledge Quality Assessment in CoCliServ (CoCliServ D5.1). .
  • 2018. Gevaarlijke stoffen in een circulaire economie. .
  • 2014. The future social robustness of smart electricity networks in Europe. .
  • 2014. Briefadvies Risicocommunicatie op een nieuwe leest schoeien. .
  • 2014. Advisory letter The health risks of Bisphenol A analogues. .
  • 2018. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).
  • 2018. Responsible Evidence Appraisal.
  • 2018. Research Integrity in Norway (RINO).
  • 2018. Post-Normal Science & Controversy Studies.
  • 2018. Knowledge Quality Assessment in model based scientific assessment.
  • 2018. Higher Education Institutions & responsible research and Innovation (HEIRRI).
  • 2018. Dealing with scientific uncertainty at the science-policy interface.
  • 2014. Wrapping up: The future of Post Normal Science.
  • 2014. Tools for Post Normal Science.
  • 2014. Tools for Knowledge Quality Assessment.
  • 2014. The risks of neonicotinoids to aquatic ecosystems.
  • 2014. Strategies on dealing with uncertainties in urban climate change adaptation.
  • 2014. Social robustness of smart electricity networks in Europe.
  • 2014. Post Normal Science: A reflective approach to Knowledge Quality Assessment.
  • 2014. Neonicotinoids: risks to pollinators, ecosystems and humans.
  • 2014. Ingredients for a socially robust smart electricity grid.
  • 2014. Critical reflection on assumptions: the NUSAP approach.
  • 2014. Adaptation to uncertain future climate change.
Popular scientific lecture
  • 2018. The role of convenience pesticides in the collapse of the entomofauna.
  • 2018. Co-development of place-based climate services for action (CoCliServ).
  • 2014. Bijensterfte Oorzaken, gevolgen oplossingen.
Academic lecture
  • 2018. Unraveling Controversy on Vexed Environmental Risks.
  • 2018. Uncertainties and Quality Assurance in Research.
  • 2018. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).
  • 2018. Maintaining Scientific Integrity in Present Day Academic Reality.
  • 2018. Knowledge Quality Assessment.
  • 2018. From bee health to insectageddon: the battle over problem frames seen through a post-normal science lens.
  • 2018. Dealing with uncertainty in model-based assessment: the NUSAP approach.
  • 2014. Post Normal Science and Knowledge Quality Assessment.
  • 2014. Post Normal Science - theory and practice.
  • 2014. Knowledge Quality Assessment - an introduction.
  • 2014. Decades of climate research: Lessons for science.
  • 2017. Post-normal science in practice. Futures: The journal of policy, planning and futures studies. 1-4.
Reader opinion piece
  • 2018. Stop de mallemolen van pesticiden. One World.
Non-fiction book
  • 2016. Science on the verge. Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes.
Popular scientific article
  • 2018. NEONICS - Hoe lobby en framing gemakslandbouwgif buiten beeld hielden. De Helling (journal of the scientific office of the Netherlands Green Left party). 49-56.
  • 2018. EU Ban on Neonics: Too Little, Too Late. Green European Journal.
Feature article
  • 2020. Post-normal pandemics: Why COVID-19 requires a new approach to science. Blog of ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre.
Letter to the editor
  • 2018. Call to restrict neonicotinoids. Science. 973-793.
  • 2016. Modelling: Climate costing is politics not science. Nature. 177-177.
  • 2014. Biodiversity reports need author rules. Nature. 170-170.
  • 2018. ‘Bayer zette wetenschap jarenlang op dwaalspoor’.
  • 2018. Ze zijn net als de tabaksindustrie.
  • 2018. We beschermen onze gewassen tegen insecten. Maar wie beschermt de insecten tegen ons?
  • 2018. Liaisons troubles entre recherche publique et agrochimie.
  • 2018. EU agrees total ban on bee-harming pesticides.
  • 2018. Doet Europa bijengif in de ban?
Academic chapter/article/Conference paper
  • 2018. Integrated Assessment Modeling and the Participatory Challenge: The Case of Climate Change. 32 pages.
  • 2017. The NUSAP approach to uncertainty appraisal and communication. 301-310. In:
    • 2017. Routledge handbook of Ecological Economics. Nature and society. Routledge.
  • 2016. Numbers running wild. 151-187. In:
    • 2016. Science on the verge. Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes.
  • 2014. Dealing with uncertainty in climate adaptation decision-making. 17-40. In:
    • 2014. Adapting to an Uncertain Climate – Lessons from Practice. Springer.
  • 2014. Climate change and health in the Netherlands. 96-102. In:
    • 2014. Adapting to an Uncertain Climate – Lessons from Practice. Springer.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

2018 & 2015: Ranked #45 (2018) and #25 (2015) in “The Sustainable 100”, top 100 of most influential Netherland people contributing to sustainable development, by daily newspaper Trouw.

2013: Nominated for Utrecht University Publi Award - in top 3 of scientists with best media coverage (TV, Radio & Daily newspapers) of Utrecht University.

1996: YSSP Fellow ( Young Scientists Summer Program); International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg

I have long-standing experience in various leading roles in transdisciplinary international research projects, including 13 different EU projects funded under FP5, FP6, FP7 and H2020.

Current projects:

PI of Utrecht University team in SeMPER-Arctic: SeMPER-Arctic - Sense Making, Place attachment, and Extended networks as sources of Resilience in the Arctic (The Belmont Forum) [2020-2023]

PI of BeeCaution Bees pesticides and precaution: building an epistemic network in Norway (The Research Council of Norway) [2020-2022]

PI of Bergen team in RECIPES REconciling sCience, Innovation and Precaution through the Engagement of Stakeholders (H2020 Swafs) [2019-2021]

PI of Bergen team in CoCliServ Co-development of place-based climate services for action (JPI Climate ERA 4CS) [2017-2020] (Spin-off of UC4A!)

Go Figure: Visualizing Climate Change (FIGO) (SAMKUL Researcher Network)

Finalized projects:

Partner in PARENT, Participatory platform for sustainable energy management (EU JPI Urban Europe) [March 2016 - February 2019]

Mainstreaming Sensitivity Analysis and Uncertainty Auditing (Peder Sather Grant) [July 2017 - June 2018] (with Philip Stark, UC Berkeley; Andrea Saltelli UiB and Leif Hellevik, NTNU)

HEIRRI Higher Education Institutions & Responsible Research and Innovation (H2020) [2015-2018]

PI of UC4A [Understanding Cultural Conditions for Climate Change Adaptation] (SAMKUL Researcher Network, Norwegian Research Council) [2015-2016]

ELSA of SALMOSTERILE (The Research Council of Norway) [2013-2018]

EPINET (FP7) [2012-2015]

Scientific coordinator on the IUCN international Task Force on Systemic Pesticides (Triodos Foundation) [2011-2013]


Related content