Joppe van Driel

UT PhD student wins Volkskrant/ISSG Award for best Master Thesis of 2011.

Joppe van Driel, PhD-Student at the MB-Department Science, Technology and Policy Studies (STePS, ) has won the prestigious Volkskrant -IISG Master Thesis Award 2011.
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During a festive meeting at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam on December 8 this year, the Chairman of the Competition Jury, Professor Ruth Oldenziel (Technical University Eindhoven), awarded Joppe the prize for the best master thesis in the field of national and international history written by a student at a Dutch University in the period August 2010 – July 2011.

The Master Thesis of Van Driel deals with Science during the Enlightenment. Based up the life and career of the mathematician and experimental philosopher Jean de Castillon (1709-1791), who was an important link between enlightenment philosophers and the philosopher Kant, Van Driel shows that defining the boundaries of science was still a work-in-progress during the 17th century. By showing that the radical enlightenment should not be seen as the (inevitable) beginning of modernism, Van Driel takes on the influential thesis of the historian of science Jonathan Israel who distinguishes between a radical and a conservative enlightenment.

According to the Jury Van Driel has written an innovative, elegantly written and well-researched thesis, based up extensive empirical research that contributes to the field of History of Science.

At the University of Twente Van Driel’s dissertation research focuses on the history of Chemistry in the Netherlands during the second half of the eighteenth century. His supervisor is Lissa Roberts, Professor Long Term Development of Science and Technology, at the MB-Department Science Technology and Policy Studies (

Besides a University of Twente PhD Student, Joppe is also a member of the award winning cabaret group Poolvogel, see:

We are proud of his accomplishments and congratulate him with this prestigious award!