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Dr. W.A. Smit (Wim)

wim smit

Emeritus Associate Professor of STS

Wim Smit
PO Box 217
NL-7500 AE Enschede

E-mail: w.a.smit(at)
Telephone: (053) 489 4486


Wim Smit is Emeritus Associate Professor of Science, Technology and Society (STS). After having received his PhD in Physics (1973) at the University of Groningen, he went into STS studies, first at the University of Groningen and from 1975 on at the University of Twente. He has published on such issues as Risk Assessment, Assessment of Nuclear Technology, Nuclear Weapon Proliferation, Assessment and Dynamics of Military Technological Developments, and Dynamics of Socio-Technical Networks.

He has served on three Advisory Committees of the Netherlands Health Council: on External Safety (1980-1985); on Reassessing Nuclear Energy (1988-1989) and on Risk Evaluation (1991-1996).


His current research interest focuses on Assessment and Dynamics of Military Technological Developments, Dual Use technology and the Integration of Civil and Military Technology. A special interest is in Naval Technology.


Wim Smit has teached on:

  • Technology Assessment and Socio-technical Scenario’s
  • Risk evaluation, management and control
  • Reflection on Multi-Disciplinary design as a Socio-Technical Activity
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Technology Dynamics
  • Issues of STS


A selection:


  • (With Ellen C.J. van Oost) (1999), De wederzijdse beïnvloeding van technologie en maatschappij: een Technology Assessment-benadering. Bussum: Coutinho, ISBN 9062831699, 294p.
  • (With H.G. Brauch, H.J. van der Graaf, and J. Grin, eds.) (1992). Controlling the Development and Spread of Military Technology. Lessons from the Past and Challenges for the 1990s, Amsterdam: VU University Press, ISBN 90 5383 103 7, 406 pp.
  • (With John Grin and Lev Voronkov (eds.) (1992). Military Technological Innovation and Stability in a Changing World. Politically assessing and influencing weapon innovation and military research and development. Amsterdam: VU University Press ISBN 90 5383 158 4, 313 pp.
  • (With Marlies ter Borg, eds.) (1989), Non-Provocative Defence as a Principle of Arms Reduction and its Implications for Assessing Defence Technologies. Amsterdam: Free University Press, 291p.
  • (With Marlies ter Borg, eds.) (1987). Tactical Ballistic Missile Defence in Europe: Feasible, Affordable, Desirable? Amsterdam: Free University Press, 174p.
  • (With Rob Geerts and Gerard Tiemessen) (1983). Ahaus, Lingen, Kalkar. Westduitse nucleaire installaties en de gevolgen voor Nederland. Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid (WRR) , Voorstudies en Achtergronden V31. Den Haag: Staatsuitgeverij.
  • (With Allan S. Krass, Peter Boskma and Boelie Elzen) (1983). Uranium enrichment and nuclear weapon proliferation. London: Taylor & Francis (for SIPRI), 296p.

Journal articles and book chapters

  • (With Haico te Kulve) (2010). ‘Novel naval technologies: Sustaining or disrupting naval doctrine’, Technological Forecasting & Social Change 77, pp. 999–1013.
  • (2010) Wim A. Smit. ‘Naval shipbuilding in the Netherlands’, in: Douglas L. Bland National Approaches to Shipbuilding and Ship Procurement. The Claxton Papers 11. Kingston, Canada: Defence Management Studies Program, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University. Pp 35-45.
  • (2006) W.A. Smit. ‘Military Technologies and Politics’. In: Robert E Goodin and Charles Tilly (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis, 722-744. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • (With Haico te Kulve) (2003). ‘Civilian-military co-operation strategies in developing new technologies’, Research Policy, Vol 32/6, pp 955 – 970.
  • (with Ivo Maathuis) (2003). ‘The Battle between Standards: TCP/IP vs OSI - Victory through Path Dependency or by Quality?’ In: Tineke M. Egyedi, Ken Krechmer and Kai Jacobs (eds.), Standardization and Innovation in Information Technology, SIIT-2003 Proceedings. Piscataway, NJ: IEEE and Delft: University of Technology, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management. p. 161-176. ISBN 0-7803-8172-6. (See also:
  • (With Arie Rip) (2002) ‘Het risicobegrip vanuit een wetenschapsfilosofisch en sociologisch perspectief’ in B. Wissink en J. Bouma (red.) Perspectieven op milieurisico’s, WRR Werkdocument W128. Den Haag: Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid (WRR). p. 67-102. (To be downloaded from:
  • (2001) ‘Science, Technology and the Military’, In: Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes (eds.-in-chief) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences Vol 20, 13698-13704. Oxford.: Pergamon. ISBN: 0-08-043076-7
  • (Abstract to be downloaded from:
  • (With Roland de Penanros, Haico te Kulve, Björn Hagelin and Ian S. Goudie) (2001), ‘Naval shipbuilding in Europe’. In: Serfati, Claude, Michael Brzoska, Björn Hagelin, Elisabeth Sköns and Wim Smit (eds.) The restructuring of the European defence Industry. Dynamics of change. Luxembourg: Office for official Publications of the European Communities, COST A10 publication. p.193-239. ISBN 92-894-1654-8.
  • (With Frank W. Geels) (2000) ‘Failed technology futures: pitfalls and lessons from a historical survey’, Futures Vol. 32, 867-885.
  • (With Boelie Elzen & Bert Enserink) (1998), 'Coordination in Military Sociotechnical Networks: Military Needs, Requirements and Guiding Principles', in C. Disco & B. van der Meulen (eds.), Getting New Technologies Together: Studies in Making Sociotechnical Order, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 71105. ISBN 3-11-015630-X.
  • (1998) 'Ambiguous Civilian R&D: Preventing Destabilizing Military Applications', in J. Reppy (ed.), Conversion of Military R&D, London: MacMillan Press Ltd, 273292. ISBN 0-333-73871-3.
  • (With Boelie Elzen and Bert Enserink) (1996), 'SocioTechnical Networks: How a Technology Studies Approach may help to solve Problems Related to Technical Change', Social Studies of Science, Vol. 26, no 1, 95141.
  • (1995) 'Science, Technology, and the Military: Relations in Transition', in S. Jasanoff , G.E. Markle, J.C. Peterson, et. al. (eds.), Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, London: Sage Publications, 598-626.
  • (1995) 'A Framework for a Sociology of Assessing and Intervening in Technology Development' (ISSN 10627987), European Review, Vol. 3, nr 1, 7382.
  • (With Arie Rip and Barend J.R. van der Meulen) (1995), 'Radioactive Waste Disposal: Taking Societal Views into Account' (ISBN 9264143734), in Nuclear Energy Agency OECD (ed.), Environmental and Ethical aspects of longlived radioactive waste disposal (Proceedings of an International Workshop organised by the Nuclear Energy Agency in cooperation with the Environment Directorate, Paris, 12 September 1994), Paris: OECD, 184201, OECD Document.
  • (1993) ‘Intervening in military technological development: a comment on Donald Mackenzie's Inventing Accuracy. Science and Public Policy, vol. 20, no. 6, 1-10.
  • (With Annette Schaper, Wolfgang Liebert and Boelie Elzen) (1992). 'New technological developments and the non-proliferation regime. Redirecting and constraining R&D: the case of Laser Fusion, Laser Isotope Separation, and the use of Highly Enriched Uranium.' In: H. G. Brauch, H. J. van der Graaf, J. Grin and W. A. Smit (eds.). Controlling the Development and Spread of Military Technology. Lessons from the Past and Challenges for the 1990s. Amsterdam: Free University Press. pp. 121-138.
  • (1991) 'Steering the Process of Military Technological Innovation', Defense Analysis 7, no. 4, 401-415.
  • (1989) 'Defence technology assessment and the control of emerging technologies', in M. ter Borg en W.A. Smit (eds.), Non-Provocative Defence as a Principle of Arms Reduction and its Implications for Assessing Defence Technologies. Amsterdam: Free University Press, 61-76.
  • (1989) 'Conventional Attack on Nuclear Facilities', in H. Tromp (ed.) War in Europe: nuclear and conventional perspectives. Aldershot: Gower Publishing Company, 293-318.
  • (1986) ‘The Patriot Missile – An Arms Control Impact Analysis’, In: Frank Barnaby and Marlies ter Borg (eds.) Emerging Technologies and Military Doctrine – A Political assessment. Houndsmill and London: The MacMillan Press.
  • (With J.J. Hutter) (1984) ‘De Elektromagnetische Puls’, Transaktie, Vol 13, no 3, 236-258
  • (1981) ‘Het non-proliferatiestreven door de jaren heen’, Transaktie, Vol 10, no 1, 5-58
  • (With Peter Boskma) (1980) ‘Laser fusion’, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Vol 36, no 10, 34-38.
  • (With Ger Vertogen and J.Kraak) (1974) ‘Coexistence of Ferromagnetism and Superconductivity in a Superconducting Alloy’, Physica, Vol 74, 97-109.
  • (With Ger Vertogen) (1973) ‘Coexistence of Superconductivity and Magnetism’, Physics Letters, Vol 43A, no 5, 455-456.
  • (With Ger Vertogen) (1971) ‘Zener Theory’, Physical Review B, Vol 4, no 7, 2249-2253.
  • (With W. van der Lugt and W.G. Perdok) (1968), ‘Structural Investigation of Hydrogen Bonds in Deuterated Pentaerythritol by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance’, Acta Crystallographica, Vol A 24, Part 4. 439-445.
  • (With Wim van der Lugt and Wim J. Caspers) (1967) ‘NMR in a single crystal of hydroxyapatite’. In : R. Blinc (ed.) Magnetic Resonance and Relaxation. Proceedings of the XIVth Colloque Ampère, Ljubljana, 6-11 September 1966, 416-420.


Wim Smit has participated in the European Network of Excellence: PRIME, in particular on the project of InnoMil, which focuses on Revaluating the Role of Defence and Security R&D in the Innovation System.
He is also a member of Pugwash (Conferences on Science and World Affairs):