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Jorrit Smit

Senior and Postdoctoral Researcher


Jorrit Smit joined the LSTS group in October 2022 as a Free Your Inner Llama postdoctoral research fellow. This fellowship is a part of the Casterman-Hamers Chair on the History and Philosophy of Sciences, currently held by prof. Mireille Hildebrandt. By orchestrating the meeting of ‘poets and quants’, or scientists and artists, this project will engage critically with counting and measuring (or: qualculation) practices that map the societal value of science.

His current research focuses on the intersection of the politics, spatiality and societal value of scientific research. He has published on the politics of internationalism in early 20th century chemistry, the rise of science policies in the 1970s and the spatial reorganization of ‘useful’ research into science parks in the 1980s. In collaboration with others, he has also written about the paradoxes of societal impact policies and the theoretical underpinnings of impact evaluation approaches.

Jorrit received his Bachelor’s in Physical chemistry, from the University of Amsterdam, a Master’s in history & philosophy of science, from Utrecht University, and his PhD degree, in 2021, from Leiden University. In his dissertation, titled 'Utility Spots. Science Policy, Knowledge Transfer and the Politics of Proximity’, he used methods from history, philosophy and sociology of science to develop a critical spatial approach to (policies for) the societal value of scientific research. Between 2020 and 2022, Jorrit did postdoctoral research on the evaluation of societal impact at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Currently, he is also a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University and a visiting researcher at the Rathenau Institute in The Hague.


Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels