Our project

The full project description can be downloaded here.

 Achtergrond Our Project 2

The Global Knowledge Society is a large-scale research project that investigates the historical roots of knowledge societies. It focuses on the creation of a global knowledge society in the Low Countries from ca 1450 to 1800. By hosting scholars from all over the world and bringing them together in four working groups, it operates at the forefront of this flourishing field of study.

The core of the project consists of historians of science, knowledge, culture and art from the Netherlands and Belgium. In 2016 and 2017, each working group will invite a number of leading scholars in this field to join in our research. These researchers are housed at the NIAS-institute in Wasenaar 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. Furthermore, the project provides the basis for several museum-exhibitions.

Achtergrond Our Project 3

Principal Investigators

download.jpgProf. dr. Wijnand Mijnhardt
Utrecht University

Wijnand W. Mijnhardt holds a personal Chair of Comparative History of the Sciences and the Humanities, and he is founder and past director of the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences at Utrecht University. Together with Lynn Hunt and Margaret Jacob he authored: The Book that Changed Europe: Picart and Bernard’s Religious Ceremonies of the World  (Cambridge Mass., Harvard University Press: 2010). In A New Template for Dutch History (Zwolle: 2011) he published, together with Paul Brusse, a new model for the interpretation of Dutch modern history. In preparation is An Urban Enlightenment: the Dutch Republic 1672-1815.


Prof. dr. Sven Dupré
Utrecht University and University of Amsterdam

Sven Dupré is Professor and Chair of History of Art, Science and Technology at Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam, and Director of the project ‘Technique in the Arts: Concepts, Practices, Expertise, 1500-1950’, supported by a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant.  Previously he was Professor of History of Knowledge at the Freie Universitat and Director of the Research Group ‘Art and Knowledge in Premodern Europe’ at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. His research has been supported by visiting fellowships at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) of the University of Cambridge, at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and at the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science at the University of Sydney.