Odile Heynders en Peter Achterberg

Listen to the science podcast about intellectuals as activists

Science Quest Tineke Bennema

In Science Quest, the Tilburg University Podcast, scientists seek answers to questions about people and society that concern us all. From war to peace. From climate to your wallet, from care to organization and from big data to dating. Our own experts discuss the newest, funniest and most talked-about insights from their own research.

Artists, intellectuals and scientists sometimes take a stand in major social debates as we saw recently on climate, Ukraine and the Gaza war. Sometimes from personal involvement, sometimes from their expertise. Do they have a role to play in this? And when it comes to scientists, are they jeopardizing the objectivity of science? Does that actually exist?

We talk about this with Professor of Comparative Literature Odile Heynders, who is specialized in involvement of public intellectuals and with Professor Peter Achterberg, sociologist. He did research on trust in public institutions, among other things. Professor of Environmental Economics Reyer Gerlagh talks about his participation in demonstrations for the climate.

This podcast is only available in Dutch.

Our scientists

  • Peter Achterberg

    Peter Achterberg

    Professor of Sociology

    "If researchers themselves are trying to create impact, what is the difference between us and, say, an artist or politician? That boundary between tasks has to be there." 

    Profile page

  • Odile Heynders

    Odile Heynders

    Professor of Comparative Literature

    "Researchers should not just preach to the converted in academia and hide behind objective data.”

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Date of publication: 10 January 2024