Albertus Magnus, Das Buch der Geheimnisse: eine Sammlung von zweihundert und sechzig besonders magnetischen und sympathetischen Mittel wider Krankheiten, körperliche Mängel und Uebel und zur Beförderung anderer nützlicher und wohlthätiger Zwecke ; Vermächtniß eines sterbenden Vaters an seine Söhne (1836)

Research interests

  • European and Dutch Enlightenments
  • History of (learned) sociability
  • Early modern history of science
  • The origins of knowledge societies
  • The vagaries of (Dutch) modernity
  • History of the knowledge concept (1400-1900)

Research projects in progress

  • Creating a Knowledge Society in a Globalizing World, 1450-1800
    The Global Knowledge Society is a large-scale research project that investigates the historical roots of knowledge societies. The innovative capability of the present-day knowledge society depends upon the large-scale collection and distribution of information on the basis of which knowledge is produced and multiplied. The process of production and distribution happens at a global level. Facilitating knowledge and information exchange is almost invariably accompanied by regulation of its distribution. This project investigates the historical roots of the global knowledge society. Its long-term ambition is to contribute to our understanding of the knowledge society in a global context and to gain insights in its development up to today. Researchers are hosted at the NIAS and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. The project aims to be highly innovative, not only in its approach and method, but also in its output. It will not only result in a number of studies and volumes, but will also develop tools for the study of knowledge societies in general, as well as a handbook on knowledge societies that can be used by students and senior academics alike.
  • The King’s physician. Upward mobility and medical science in an Age of Revolution (Royal Academy research project, 2017-2019)

Books in Progress

  • The Netherlands 1713-1848: the emergence of an aristocratic society
  • The business of the Enlightenment: The Amsterdam bookseller Jean Frédéric Bernard (1680-1744)

Research projects completed

2015-2017: The global knowledge society (NWO)

2008-2013: Circulation of knowledge and learned practices in the 17th-century Dutch Republic. A web-based Humanities’ collaboratory on correspondences (NWO)

2009-2013: Provincial History of Zeeland (Province of Zeeland)

2005-2011: The balance between city and countryside. De-urbanisation and the rise of an agrarian society: Zeeland 1700-1860 (NWO)

2002-2006: The myopia of post-national historiography and the Dutch case of modernization (NWO)

1991-2001: Priority Program Dutch Culture in a European Context (NWO)

1988-1989: Reading Culture in the 18th and early 19th century (NWO)