Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

What drives you? Personal Motivations in Social Science Research

Organizers: Pieter Lagerwaard and Natalie Welfens

10Dec2018 15:00 - 16:30


Panel discussion with: Dr. Thijs Bol (Sociology), Prof. Dr. Marieke de Goede (Political Science), Dr. Rachel Spronk (Anthropology), and Prof. Dr. Tom van der Meer (Political Science)

What drives us to choose certain research topics, methods, and strategies for the dissemination of research results? How does our broader societal and political engagement relate to personal research motivations?

Too often, we tend to discuss these kind of questions through the grammar of the objective/subjective, neutral/biased or along methodological lines. This panel proposes a new angle by thinking about personal motivations across the disciplinary and methodological divides. It will address fundamental questions such as the role of the researcher in data-production, the influence of personal motivations for studying a topic, and the challenges of navigating between societal outreach and impact on the one side, and academic ‘neutrality’ on the other.

We invite all panelists to give a short entry statement on how they relate to the general question. The following debate will be open for questions and comments from the audience. We seek to continue and further the discussions of the ‘Activism and Academia’ event held in February 2018 at the AISSR.

Participation and registration

We invite you to share your perspectives, reflections and dilemmas on and with this topic. If you are interested in joining, please send an email to

Political Science Common Room (9th floor)

  • Roeterseilandcampus - building B/C/D (entrance B/C)

    Nieuwe Achtergracht 166 | 1018 WV Amsterdam
    Building B: +31 (0)20 525 5340 | Building C: +31 (0)20 525 5470

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Published by  AISSR