OECD Science and Technology Policy Ministerial


Robbert Dijkgraaf


Minister of Education, Culture and Science


Robbert Dijkgraaf Minister of Education, Culture and Science Personal information Born in the Netherlands, 24 January 1960. Married to Pia de Jong, novelist and journalist, two sons and a daughter. Professional experience • Director and Leon Levy Professor, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey (2012–2022) One of the world's foremost centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. Home of groundbreaking scientists and scholars such as Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, John von Neumann, Kurt Gödel and George Kennan. Among its present and past Faculty and Members are 34 Nobel Laureates, 42 of the 60 Fields Medalists, and 21 of the 24 Abel Prize Laureates, as well as many MacArthur Fellows and Wolf Prize winners. • President, InterAcademy Partnership (2009–2017) The global alliance of more than 130 national academies of science, medicine, and engineering, advising the United Nations, the World Bank, intergovernmental organizations and national governments on policy issues such as climate change, energy, food security, R&D policy and education. Reviewed the IPCC in 2010 by request of UN Secretary General. Published “Doing Global Science,” a guide to responsible conduct in the global research enterprise. • President, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences KNAW (2008–2012) Official science advisor to Netherlands government, national public face of science, directing 18 national research institutes in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. • Distinguished University Professor, University of Amsterdam (2005–2022) • Professor of Mathematical Physics, University of Amsterdam (1992–2005) • Long-term Member, Institute for Advanced Study (1991–1992) • Research Associate, Physics Department, Princeton University (1989–1991) Education • Ph.D. cum laude, Utrecht University (1989), advisor Gerard ’t Hooft (1999 Nobel Prize) • M.Sc. Theoretical Physics, cum laude, Utrecht University (1986) • Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam (1982–1984), fine art school, studying painting • B.Sc. Physics and Mathematics, cum laude, Utrecht University (1982) Major honors and prizes • Mensa Fonds Impact Award (2019) • First Irispenning for Science Communication (2019) • Honorary degree, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (2019) • Honorary degree, Leiden University (2019) • Foreign Member, Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (2018) • Member, American Philosophical Society (2013) • Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2013) • Honorary degree, Radboud University Nijmegen (2013) • Honorary Fellow, Royal Society of Edinburgh (2013) • Fellow, American Mathematical Society (2012) • Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion (2012) • Honorary Fellow, Netherlands Chemical Society (2012) • Honorary Fellow, Netherlands Physics Society (2012) • Member, Netherlands Academy of Technology and Innovation (AcTI) (2009) • Member, Academia Europaea (2008) • Member, Royal Holland Society of Sciences (2004) • Member, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) (2003) • NWO Spinoza Premium (2003), highest scientific distinction in the Netherlands • Physica Prize, Dutch Physical Society (2002) Editorships Communications in Mathematical Physics, Nuclear Physics B, Journal of Geometry and Physics, Advances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics, International Mathematical Research Notices, Journal of Mathematical Physics, Reviews of Mathematical Physics, Journal of Differential Geometry, Communications in Number Theory and Physics. Selected advisory work and board memberships • Director, Simons Foundation, New York (2021-2022) • Member, National Growth Fund (2020-2022) Cabinet-level advisory board to Dutch government, responsible for investing 20M euro in R&D, innovation, infrastructure for the next 5 years. • Member, Innovation Platform, chaired by Prime-Minister of the Netherlands (2007–2010). Cabinet-level advisory board on science, technology and innovation, including several ministers and CEOs of major corporations. • Director, Math for America (2018–2022). • Member, Jury, Carnegie Fellows, Carnegie Corporation of New York (2015–2022) • Chair, Supervisory Board, Hartwig Medical Foundation (2015–2022). • Member, Advisory Council, Princeton University Art Museum (2014–2018). • Director, Rita Allen Foundation (2013–2022). • Member, Council, Science and Technology in Society Forum, Kyoto (2012–2022). • Ambassador, United World Colleges Netherlands (2015–2022). • Member, Solvay Scientific Committee for Physics (2011–2022). • Member, Palace Committee, Royal Palace Amsterdam (2009–2022). • Chair, Board, VPRO Public Television (2009–2012). • Member, Supervisory Board, Van Gogh Museum, Teylers Museum, Nemo Science Museum Amsterdam, Premium Erasmianum, Fullbright Center, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Stichting Kunst in de Openbare Ruimte (2005–2012). • International Scientific Advisory Committees: Beijing Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Applications; Danish Institute for Advanced Study; Center for Advanced Mathematical Sciences, American University of Beirut, Lebanon; Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, Beijing; Dublin Institute for Advanced Study, Ireland; Service de Physique Théorique, CEN-Saclay, Paris, France; Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge. • Director, Spring School, ICTP, Trieste, Italy (1992–1996). Selected general science publications and public outreach • DWDD University, lectures on Dutch public television. An annual series of live, one-hour public lectures with more than a million viewers (2012–2019). • The Mind of the Universe, host of a 10-episode tv-series portraying 30 distinguished scientists (2017). • The World of Thinking, a documentary about IAS and the curiosity-driven pursuit of scientific understanding (2019). • The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge (Princeton University Press, 2017). Translated into Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Turkish. • Doing Global Science, Guide to Responsible Conduct in The Global Research Enterprise (Princeton University Press, 2016) • National Math Festival, Washington DC, co-organized together with MSRI, Berkeley (2015–2022) • Inside Einstein’s Mind: The Enigma of Space and Time (2015), BBC documentary. • Robbert Dijkgraaf Essay Prize, national competition to stimulate public science writing (2012–). • Founder proefjes.nl (2004), popular website with experiments for young children. • Popular books in Dutch: Blikwisselingen (2008), Bètacanon (2009), Nut van Nutteloos Onderzoek (2012), Reuzen van de Lage Landen (2012), Het isgelijkteken (2019). • Columns, opinion pieces, regular science contributor in Wall Street Journal, Quanta, Scientific American, Forbes. Monthly science column in NRC-Handelsblad since 2004.