Prof. dr. Esther Turnhout is chair of Science, Technology and Society at the Section of Knowledge, Transformation & Society (KiTeS), University of Twente, The Netherlands. She is an interdisciplinary social scientist with expertise in science and technology studies, environmental studies and political science. Her research and teaching focuses on the interactions between science and lay, Indigenous and local knowledge systems, and on policy and governance for biodiversity and sustainability transformations. She has published numerous articles on the biodiversity science-policy interface and other topics in high impact journals and she is also the first author of the book Environmental Expertise: Connecting Science, Policy and Society’ with Cambridge University Press. She is editor in chief of the interdisciplinary journal Environmental Science & Policy. She plays several active roles in the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and was an author of the IPBES Global Assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Since January 2022, she is the Scientific Director of WTMC - the Dutch Graduate Research School for Science and Technology Studies.
Opinie artikel 'De inktzwarte keerzijde van efficiëntie: oneerlijke verdeling van de ruimte en een ongezonde leefomgeving' gepubliceerd in Trouw
The text and video of my inaugural lecture 'A better knowledge is possible: transforming science and technology for justice, pluralism, and sustainability'. See here for the video and here for the text
The KiTeS section participates in the Horizon Europe project BioTraCes. The project uses a participatory research approach to support local cases and catalyse transformative change for biodiversity, justice, and human-ecological well-being. A news item can be found here. You can follow updates on the project website, twitter or LinkedIn.
Presentation for the international workshop: Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities for Sustainability Science of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, November 30-December 2 2020: Transforming Global Environmental Knowledge
Public lecture (in Dutch) for the municipality of Rotterdam on Citizen Science: Kennis over/voor de natuur: het wat, hoe, wie en waartoe van biodiversiteitsmonitoring
Roundtable conversation on the state and challenges of Nature and Landscape in The Netherlands (in Dutch): De staat van het Nederlandse landschap | Rondetafel gesprek met Andrea van Pol
Editor in Chief of Environmental Science & Policy
WTMC - The Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science and Technology Studies
Scientific Director of WTMC - The Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science and Technology Studies
Recent key publications on transforming environmental science and governance
Lahsen, M., Turnhout, E., 2021. How norms, needs and power in science obstruct transformations to sustainability. Environmental Research Letters, 16, 025008.
Pascual, U., Adams, W.M., Lele, S., Mace, G., Turnhout, E., 2021. Biodiversity and the challenge of pluralism. Nature Sustainablity, DOI: 10.1038/s41893-021-00694-7.
Turnhout, E., McElwee, P., Chiroleu‐Assouline, M., Clapp, J., Isenhour, C., Kelemen, E., Jackson, T., Miller, D.c., Rusch, G.M., Spangenberg, J.H., Waldron, A., 2021. Enabling transformative economic change in the post‐2020 biodiversity agenda. Conservation Letters, DOI: 10.1111/conl.12805.
Turnhout, E. Metze, T., Wyborn, C., Klenk, N., Louder, E., 2020. “The Politics of Co-Production: Participation, Power, and Transformation.” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 42: 15–21.
Turnhout, E., Purvis, A., 2020. Biodiversity and species extinction: categorisation, calculation, and communication. Griffith Law Review, 29, 669-685.
Turnhout, E., Tuinstra, W. & Halffman, W. 2019. Environmental Expertise: Connecting Science, Policy and Society. Cambridge University Press.
UT Research Information System
Google Scholar Link
Courses Academic Year 2023/2024
Courses Academic Year 2022/2023
I frequently give interviews and am available for commentaries and interviews on topics such as:
Sustainability, biodiversity, forest and nature conservation
Relations between Science, Politics and Society
The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
In the press
Our article in Science Do we need a Science-Policy Interface for Food Systems? was covered in different media outlets:
Article in NRC 21 September 2021 by Martine Kamsma: Wie bepaalt de Agenda van een VN Top over Woedsel?
Article on Grist 24 September 2021 by Joseph Winters: Why many Food Experts don't want a new International Body for Food Science