Dr Anthony F.J. van Raan
Professor of Quantitative Studies of Science
Anthony F.J. van Raan (
, the Netherlands) is Professor of Quantitative Studies of Science,
Centre for Science and Technology Studies
Leiden, The Netherlands.
E-mail: vanraan at cwts.leidenuniv.nl
Anthony (Ton) van Raan studied mathematics, physics and astronomy at the
University of Utrecht
(with 1999 Nobel Laureate Martin Veltman as one of his theoretical physics
teachers) and graduated (M.Sc.) in 1969. In 1973 he received a PhD in physics
at the University of Utrecht, with a thesis on the interaction between
electrons and helium atoms.
From 1969 to 1973 he was junior lecturer and researcher in Utrecht, from 1973 to 1977
post-doctoral research fellow (assistant professor) at the University of Bielefeld (Germany)
teaching physics and astrophysics, and from 1977 senior lecturer and research fellow in Leiden.
He has been visiting scientist in several universities and research institutes in the US, UK, and France.
Previous work in experimental atomic and molecular physics, laser-physics, astrophysics.
In 1985 'field switch' from physics to science and technology (S&T) studies; 1986 senior researcher
(associate professor) and (founding) director of CWTS.
In 1991 appointment as full Professor of Quantitative Studies of Science.
In 2010 he retired as director of CWTS while remaining research professor.
Professor Van Raan published (as author and co-author) about thirty articles
in physics and more than hundred in science and technology studies. He is the
editor of the standard Handbook of Quantitative Studies of Science and
Technology (Elsevier) and member of the editorial advisory boards of the
Scientometrics and the
Journal of Informetrics.
Professor Van Raan's main research area concerns the design, construction and application
of quantitative indicators on important aspects of science and technology. His work covers the
development of scientific and technological fields; analysis of scientific progress and assessment of
scientific performance; statistical properties of indicators, mapping of science and technology and in
particular research related to important socio-economic issues; science as a 'self-organizing' cognitive ecosystem.
In this work he uses elements of physics and mathematics, particularly complex systems.
Teaching and PhD supervision
Professor Van Raan started about ten years ago the annual CWTS
in science and technology studies; he is now involved in the program of this course.
Professor van Raan is (so far, 2012) the supervisor of 14 PhD examinations.
Participation in advisory committees
Professor Van Raan's advisory work has been frequently used by the government of the Netherlands,
of other European Union member states, the European Commission, the OECD,
and by national other European scientific organizations such as the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO),
the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft as well as the business sector.
Netherlands Royal Society for Astronomy and Meteorology (
Society for Social Studies of Science (4S),
International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (
Publications from 1990 are listed annually under 'Publications' in the CWTS
website. Professor van Raan's research has appeared in a wide variety of
outstanding international journals such as The Physical Review, Journal of
Physics, Scientometrics, Research Policy, Journal of the American Society for
Information Science and Technology, Nature, Physica A. We
selection of recent publications directly available in pdf-format.
Centre for Science and Technology Studies
P.O. Box 9555
2300 RB Leiden
Tel.: +31 715273909, Fax: +31 715273911
CWTS is located at Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden, in the Pieter de la Court
Building, close to Leiden Central Station and to the historic downtown of
Leiden. The institute can be reached very conveniently by bike, car, train.
Leiden has excellent connections with the rest of the world. Amsterdam
International Airport Schiphol is within 20 direct intercity train minutes.
Professor van Raan is owner of a small spin-off company Science Consult for advise on
research evaluation and science policy issues.
Professor Van Raan is a member of the Board of the Foundation Lucas van
Leyden to support the Art Museum De Lakenhal.
He is also board member of the Leiden Regio Kring to stimulate the socio-economic development of the Leiden urban area.
Professor van Raan is the ‘inventor’ of the now widely used device 'Leiden Stad van Ontdekkingen'
(Leiden City of Discoveries). He is engaged in the realization of a ‘discoveries trail’ through the old city center of Leiden.
Professor van Raan is member of a regional committee to improve the public transportation system in the Leiden agglomeration.
He often acts as an advisor for the municipality and the city council in issues related to the development of the
city of Leiden
and its relation with University.
Professor Van Raan lives in Leiden with his wife Paula Wilke. They have three
sons, Clemens, Lukas and Paul, and a grandson Max.