Jorrit Smit is a postdoc researcher at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS). His expertise is the organization, evaluation and politics of the societal value of scientific research, in historical perspective. At CWTS, he is involved in a Responsible Innovation project about mission-oriented science and innovation policies that aim to increase the contribution of (electro)chemistry to the energy transition. The NWO-funded project ‘Catalyzing Knowledge Ecosystems’ is a collaboration between dr. Rik Mom (Institute of Chemistry), prof. Laurens Hessels (CWTS/Rathenau Instituut), & prof. Eefje Cuppen (Rathenau Instituut/FGGA).
Jorrit has studied Chemistry, Philosophy and History of Science. In his PhD dissertation (Leiden University, 2021), he developed a critical spatial approach to the history of science policy, in particular the part that focuses on societal relevance, valorization and/or impact of scientific research - summarized in the title 'Utility Spots. Science Policy, Knowledge Transfer and the Politics of Proximity.' After his PhD, he worked as a postdoc researcher on the topic of impact evaluation at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
He has published on topics that relate to the politics, spatiality and societal value of scientific research. Several historical publications focus 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.