DLF 2015/2016: Patricia Osseweijer
Patricia Osseweijer is Professor of Science Communication from the Delft University of Technology. She was awarded the seventh Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship and will hold this position for the academic year 2015/16.
From a Fossil to a Bio-based Economy – Adding Value Combining Science, Technology and Social Science
During the fellowship, Patricia Osseweijer will focus on how we can make the transition to a sustainable bio-based economy. This will depend on developing new technological solutions as well as society adopting innovations. While technology-driven research explores what is possible from a techno-economic perspective, the social sciences look at what is desirable from a societal perspective. However, mutual inspiration seems to be hampered by jargon and, more importantly, by differing thought processes. Although both approaches aim for a sustainable bio-based world, they base their problem definitions, analysis and solutions on different worldviews. This confuses citizens, policy makers and investors. The ambition is to encourage mutual understanding and respect in order to create integrated designs that take the complexity of overall value chains into account in an international setting. In this way technology and social development can strengthen each other in achieving a sustainable future.
Prof. Patricia Osseweijer is Full Professor Science Communication at the Delft University of Technology, where she is leads the Section Biotechnology and Society at the Faculty of Applied Sciences. She also manages the program ‘Societal embedding of a Sustainable Biobased Society’ of the Public-Private Partnership BE-Basic. She has published over seventy articles, and delivered more than eighty (invited) conference presentations. Osseweijer’s outreach activities include the “Imagine” science communication project for secondary schools.
“Osseweijer’s CV not only testifies of an intrinsically interdisciplinary attitude towards research but also of great scientific leadership. It is a project with a high valorization potential, one that may contribute to safeguarding the planet for future generations,” according to the advisory board’s report.