Guus Dix is Assistant Professor 'Sociology of science and technology' at the sectionĀ Knowledge, Transformation and Society (KITES, BMS). Before, he worked at Leiden University, the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (Cologne, Germany) and Maastricht University. Guus studied philosophy and sociology at the University of Amsterdam.

As a sociologist, he studies the relation between science and innovation policy, university governance and research practices. Against the background of the decades-long political failure to address theĀ climate and ecological crisis, he is specially interested in:

  • The rise and development of national and European policies centered on technological solutions for social and environmental problems.
  • The role of (fossil fuel) companies in co-determining the political- and research agenda.
  • The materialization of research lines at the individual, group and institutional level.
  • The development of alternative perspectives on social and environmental problems (behavioral change, degrowth, global justice) and their wider political ramifications.

Because of his worries and sense of urgency, Guus is engaged in civil disobedience actions with Extinction Rebellion and Scientist Rebellion and publishes more widely on policymaking, fossil ties in academia and climate activism in NRC, de Volkskrant, Trouw, Parool, Science Guide and Economisch Statistische Berichten.


Guus' overall ambition is to understand how the wielding of political and economic power intersects with theĀ development of technologies and expertise on human behavior.

Since his PhD research, Guus has been intrigued by the proliferation of ā€˜incentivesā€™ in the public and private sectors. Over the past forty years, they have become a taken-for-granted term and tool in politics and business. InĀ Incentives: A GenealogyĀ (Princeton University Press, under contract) he explores how ā€˜incentivizationā€™ developed over the course of the 20th century as a framework to understand human behavior and a set of instruments to act upon it.

In subsequent studies, he expanded his work on the relation between power and knowledge. He studied the place of economic expertise in Dutch politics;Ā the reliance on numbers and monetary incentives in the management of University Medical Centers; the celebration and problematization of quantitative assessment in the life sciences; and the rise of impact-oriented science and innovation policies in the European Union.

Currently, Guus is working on a new line of research that ties his interest in science policymaking, research practices and university goverance closer together. Putting the climate crisis center stage, he traces how mitigation technologies developed through the dynamic interaction between policymaking, industrial interest(s) and the engineering sciences.Ā In addition, he asks how targeted investments in certain solutions are bound up with (largely) undone science on alternatives pathways out of the crisis.

This research line resulted in the first (working) papers on climate obstruction and fossil fuel industry normalization in the Netherlands; a database on fossil fuel sponsored European research projects; and tentative results on carbon capture and storage technologies in an EU context.

With twenty years of teaching experience, Guus has been involved in a variety of bachelor and master programmes. At the University of Amsterdam and Maastricht University, he has designed, coordinated and taught courses ranging from (Eastern) European history, EU policymaking, political theory and qualitative methodology to the history and philosophy of (social) science. He has supervised numerous bachelor and master theses.

At the University of Twente, Guus is co-designer and coordinator of the CBL Minor 'Global crises, local challenges. He teaches in the Bachelor programme Management, Society and Technology (MS&T), in particular the second-year course component European Environmental Transition, the bachelor thesis circle 'Anatomy of an unfolding disaster' and the methods workshop on qualitative coding. In addition, he supervised several theses in the MS&T master programme.

Affiliated study programs

Courses academic year 2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses academic year 2022/2023

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