On Monday October 9, 2017, Joeri Bruyninckx (MUSTS) and Karin Bijsterveld (MUSTS) acted as table scholars (tafelwetenschappers) at the Evening of Science and Society (Avond van Wetenschap en Maatschappij in the Ridderzaal, The Hague. Much to Joeri’s surprise, the Ridderzaal had no address; the Dutch are supposed to know where it is located. The aim of the evening is to bring together scholars and representatives of societal institutions—in the domains of politics, media, art, health and labor for instance—to exchange ideas and foster the use of science. Each year, twenty-five pairs of senior and junior scholars are invited to present (junior) and chair (senior) a discussion about their research projects at a dinner table with about twelve guests.
After a first round of presentations and discussions, the table arrangements are reshuffled, and the table scholars present and discuss their work once again, to and with another group of guests. The context is acoustically challenging, with 25 scholars and subsequently several of the 275 guests talking at the same time. Karin and Joeri’s theme was “The Art of Eavesdropping,” including eavesdropping on nature. For Joeri in black tie, and impressions of the evening: see the photos. The summary of Joeri’s speech can be found here.