Samenweten, what does it mean?

Translated literally Samenweten means Knowing together. But Samenweten is also based on a merge of the Dutch words samenleving and wetenschap, which means society and science, to emphasize the connection between these two.

From project to expertise centre

Samenweten is initiated by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Dutch Research Council (NWO) inspired by the British initiative Sense about Science. Samenweten is temporarily funded for two years by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), housed at the KNAW (department of Communication and Informationmanagement) and carries the assignment to grow into an independent, national organisation from 2022.


  • Dr. Mariëtte Oosterwegel, projectleader Samenweten
  • Dr. Susan van Erp, projectleader Dataliteracy (i.c.w. Sense about Science en Elsevier)
  • Irene Achterbergh, projectleader Rewarded! (employed by KNAW)

Mariëtte Oosterwegel

Projectleader Samenweten

van Erp

Projectleader Dataliteracy


Projectleader Rewarded!

Advisory board

The Advisory board meets twice a year to advice the Samenweten team about strategic choices. The present composition of the Advisory board is: 

  • Jeroen Geurts, chair (chair board ZonMw and member board NWO)
  • Pieter Duisenberg (chair VSNU)
  • Jeroen de Ridder (chair The Young Academy)
  • Marjolein van Breemen (deputy director NEMO Science Museum)
  • Hans Brug (director-general RIVM)
  • Mariëtte Oosterwegel, secretary (projectleader Samenweten)

In addition, the project leader is accountable to the KNAW and its contact persons at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). The Advisory board group will be adapted in accordance with the future organization of Samenweten.


We like to contribute to your scientific meeting by providing a tailored workshop about public engagement of science. We are also equipped to give you practical and theoretical advice on your public engagement plans. Evidently, there are costs involved. Please, contact us if you are interested. Costs are discussed during intake and reimbursement takes place on the basis of a quotation.


We are dependent on sponsors and funds for our work. If you would like to support us, we would be more than happy to discuss the options with you. So, feel free to contact us.


Samenweten collaborates with many different partners, nationally and internationally, in the field of science communication and public engagement. Presently, the most important ones are:

Sense about Science, an independent charity that champions the public interest in sound science and ensures evidence is recognised in public life and policy making.

Parlement en Wetenschap, a partnership that is committed to giving scientific insights a prominent place in the parliamentary process and has developed a number of instruments for this purpose.

ReThink, an EU-project (led from the Athena Institute; VU, Amsterdam), which aims to make the European ecosystem of science communication more open, inclusive, reflective and adaptive and to design and introduce concrete resources to this end.

Mens in de maak, an organization that makes people think through interactive theatre and playful design. Samenweten and Mens-in-de-maak together lead interactive workshops, in which we practice having open conversations with the help of actors.

Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD) is the German organisation for science communication of the scientific community. WiD supports science and research with expertise in effective communication with society and encourages researchers to communicate their research, including its controversial aspects, with the public. Moreover, WiD raises citizens’ awareness for the social significance of science and promotes understanding research processes and findings.