Anthropologist of science Marianne de Laet new director of the Meertens Institute

In the United States, as a science and technology researcher, De Laet was involved in the social development of natural scientists and engineers. By having students view their work through an anthropological lens, it becomes clear that their choices and methods are embedded in a particular context, which challenges the common notion of scientific neutrality. An interest in the role of the body in the formation of knowledge, as well as an awareness of history as an integral part of existence, constitute the methodological core of De Laet’s work.

De Laet brings this interest in technical developments and scientific practices with her to the Meertens Institute. The wide-ranging work of the Institute’s researchers strongly appeals to her. She sees a connection with the work of research group NL-Lab, for example, but also expects to be able to provide direction for a line of research related to science, technology, climate and society. De Laet: ‘I look forward to establishing connections, supporting colleagues and strengthening cooperation within the KNAW Humanities Cluster. Having worked for many years as a social scientist in a natural science environment, the institute feels like a pleasant and self-evident home.’ 

The Meertens Institute

The Meertens Institute studies and documents language and culture in the Netherlands as well as Dutch language and culture throughout the world. The focus is on the phenomena that shape everyday life in society. Since 2016, the Meertens Institute, the Huygens Institute and the IISG together constitute the KNAW Humanities Cluster (HuC). The HuC plays an increasing role as a booster and facilitator for innovative humanities research in the Netherlands, and in the development of a national digital infrastructure for the humanities.  

Note for editors 

Contact for press enquiries: 

Femke Niehof, Academy spokesperson

telephone +31 (0)6 3966 2136

Olga Leonhard, communicatieadviseur Meertens Instituut
telephone +31 (0)6 3966 2121


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