Can academics be activists? - An open discussion

A livestreamed discussion about the tension between activism and academic research.

When: 7 December 2021, 12.00-13.30 CET


In-person location: Peter Debeyeplein 1 6229 HA Maastricht (Randwyck Campus)
Online: Zoom (you will receive a hidden link via email)

The event will also be live-streamed on YouTube:

Sign up here

Many researchers who do community-engaged research experience a tension between being objective researchers and a desire for activism. While some are convinced that activism is a core task of the researcher, others may struggle to filter their personal views out of scientific analysis. Some may argue that activism in science should be rewarded by the university, while others may argue that mixing activism and science is unethical.

During this event, prof. Pim Martens (SBE), Dr. Astrid Offermans (SBE) and Prof. Maurice Zeegers (FHML) will present their different positions on this topic, before engaging in a discussion. The discussion will be moderated by Prof. Teun Dekker (FSE). The whole event will be livestreamed, whereby the audience is invited to ask questions via a chat function. 

This event is co-organised by MPCER and the UM Platform for Research Ethics and Integrity.

The speakers

Pim Martens has a PhD in applied mathematics ànd biological sciences. He is professor of Sustainable Development and dean of Maastricht University College, Campus Venlo. He is a scientivist, and integrates scientific knowledge with his passion for animals and nature

Astrid Offermans has a background in the interdisciplinary social sciences and holds a PhD in sustainability science. She is working at the Maastricht Sustainability Institute (MSI) as an associate professor in the area of transdisciplinary approaches, knowledge co-creation and highly normative sustainability challenges. In her work, she aims to develop impactful research by involving stakeholders within and beyond academia from early phases of a project onwards.

Maurice Zeegers is a professor, epidemiologist and chair of the UM platform of Research Ethics and Integrity. His field of interest is “meta-science”, which is the use of scientific methodology to study science itself.