Laurens Hessels is a professor by special appointment of the societal value of science. Hessels’ research focuses on the best way for researchers to work with practitioners (co-creation) so that their research is of maximum benefit to society. He also investigates how research and innovation can help tackle major societal problems. In addition, he contributes to the development of methods for improving the evaluation of the societal value of research.
He also works as senior researcher at the Rathenau Instituut, where he carries out research on science and innovation policies. Laurens completed his PhD in 2010 at Utrecht University with a study into how university researchers deal with the practical applications of their work. He has also worked as a researcher with KWR Watercycle Research Institute and as a policy advisor at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.