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Ionica Smeets receives honorary doctorate from Open University

Professor of Science Communication Ionica Smeets will be awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University. She receives the award because she exemplifies how science communication can bridge the gap between experts and the general public.

Smeets will be awarded the honorary doctorate on 26 September 2024 during the celebration of the Open University’s 40th Dies Natalis.

The Open University is awarding Smeets the honorary doctorate in recognition of her efforts to make science accessible to the general public. Her books, TV shows, lectures, columns and research on science communication reach a large audience. ‘Making science accessible ties in perfectly with the Open University’s core values’, said Open University Rector Magnificus Theo Bastiaens. ‘Scientific research with an impact on society is essential. And good science communication ensures that society is aware of the change this research effects or the added value or knowledge it brings. Ionica Smeets helps strengthen the ties between research and society and through her research to improve science communication.’

Ionica Smeets is Professor of Science Communication and head of Leiden’s Science Communication and Society research group. Together with Alex Verkade, she was commissioned by outgoing Minister of Education, Culture and Science Robert Dijkgraaf to coordinate the creation of a new National Centre for Science and Society (NEWS). This should increase the potential and impact of science communication.

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