Some students call me “people’s philosopher”; I must admit I like that phrase, and it describes what I am and do. In a fresh and accessible manner I try to show that science and philosophy can be understood – and done! – by almost everyone. I started my work by writing a children’s book about evolution, called Cheese and the Theory of Evolution. It was published in 2001, and won, among other prizes, the Golden Owl – the most prestigious award for Dutch juvenile literature. Since then over 100.000 copies are sold in numerous languages like German, Norwegian, Chinese, Italian, Korean. A free English translation is available here.

I am a philosopher with a Ph.D. in computer science, and professor in the Public Understanding of Science at Leiden University. I teach several courses: (i) bioethics – for bachelors in biology; (ii) scientific visualization and narration – about alternative ways to explain science; and (iii) on being a scientist – about the essence of science and scientific integrity. Moreover, I am the initiator and founder of the master program Media Technology, where students are encouraged to engage in small, unconventional research projects. And in 2016 I was awarded the “Clear Language Prize” for being the clearest and best understandable Dutch academic; something I am very proud of.