Courses Descartes College 2016-2017
Semester 1 and 2 (Wednesday evening)

1. Een waaier aan wetenschappen
7,5 EC

Semester 3 and 4 (Wednesday evening)

2. Wetenschap in maatschappelijke context
7,5 EC

Semester 1 and 2 (Tuesday evening)

3. Humaniteit: van robotica tot genetica
7,5 EC

Semester 3 and 4 (Tuesday evening)

4. De eenentwintigste eeuw
7,5 EC


You will take courses in your second and third year. If you follow the full course programme, you will take course 1 and 2 during your first year and course 3 and 4 during your second year. Students that start with course 1 and 2 during the college year 2016-2017 will take course 3 and 4 during the college year 2017-2018 on Wednesday evening (instead of Tuesday as mentioned above).


During each course a reflection from a different perspective on science will be posed. There is a lot of room for developing a discipline-transcending culture for conversations and training of diverse skills. You will get the opportunity to meet fellow students and teachers in an informal setting by which a close group of academics can arise that likes to discuss all aspects of science together.

Course components

The courses are built up of:

  • ten discussion lectures by guest speakers form different disciplines
  • two plenary debates
  • literature that has to be studied before each meeting
  • one or two writing assignments
  • drinks after each meeting
  • excursions to musea and foreign universities


The Descartes College stimulates internationalization. In light of this, there is an exchange programme with the sister University in Gent and students organise a study tour themselves (during course 4). Also, studying abroad for half a year is possible. In case of studying abroad, you will make a recplacing assignment which is applicable to your foreign experience as well as the Descartes college.

Programme leaders

The programme leaders of the Descartes College are:

  • Prof. dr. Frits van Oostrom, professor in Dutch literature of the middle ages, former president of the Royal Dutch Academy of Science (KNAW).
  • Prof. dr. Hans van Himbergen, professor in theoretical physics, former dean of the University College Utrecht.
  • Prof. dr. Marjanne Everts, professor in veterinary physiology.
  • Dr. Ruud Abma, university teacher in philosophy of science and culture.

The programme leaders are supported by drs. Herma Bijl (coordinator), Yannick Balk and Pieter Lindenbergh.


Do you have a question or remark about this page? Please let us know.

General information