Drs. J. van Driel (Joppe)

PhD Reseacher
Ravelijn room RA 4333

Joppe van Driel
PO Box 217
NL - 7500 AE Enschede

E-mail: j.vandriel (at) utwente.nl
Telephone: (053) 489 2709/3353
Fax: (053) 489 2159


Joppe van Driel is a historian and philosopher of science with a broad interest in the long-term development of science, chemical industry and the practices and politics resource management. Currently he is writing up his PhD dissertation as part of the NWO-funded project Chemistry in Everyday Life, headed by Prof. Lissa Roberts, working title: Towards a sustainable past: Chemistry, oeconomy and material cycles in the Dutch Republic, 1750-1850. In his research he examines the role of chemistry in 18th- and 19th-century governance of resources (soil fertility, waste re-use, public health, responsible citizenship).

Joppe studied Physics, Astronomy and Philosophy (BA Cum Laude, University of Amsterdam) and History and Philosophy of Science (MA Cum Laude, University of Utrecht). In 2011, Joppe won the Volkskrant-IISG prize for the best History thesis in the Netherlands with his masterthesis Enlightening the matter of science: The anti-materialistic Enlightenment philosophy of Jean de Castillon (1709-1791).

Current Research

  • An essay on the long-term development of the governance of salts and socio-material metabolism for a special issue on the Anthropocene of the journal Eighteenth-Century studies
  • Chapters on 18th- and 19th-century waste-based fertilization and salt-based governance of resources for my dissertation



Joppe participates as teacher in the History minor The Rise of Modernity at the University of Twente. Joppe has (co-)taught courses on Philosophy of science, History of Philosophy, Physics and Mathematics at the University of Utrecht and University of Amsterdam. He is also part of the award winning comedy theater group Poolvogel (www.poolvogel.nl).


  • Joppe van Driel. “Ashes to ashes: The stewardship of waste and oeconomic cycles of agricultural and industrial improvement, 1750-1800.” In History and Technology (2014)
  • P. Ziche and J. van Driel: “Wissenschaft". In Europäische Geschichte Online (2011), http://www.ieg-ego.eu/de/threads/hintergruende/wissenschaft

Selected conference and working papers

  • Chicago, 2014: Circulating filth: Oeconomy, chemistry and the stewardship of filth, 1750-1800. History of Science Society (HSS), Annual meeting.
  • Florence, 2014: The Salt Police: Salt refining and the chemistry of conservation, 1750-1850. Workshop Situating Chemistry, international research network.
  • Berlin, 2014: Ashes to ashes: Eighteenth-century waste-based fertilization. Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, workshop ‘Down-to-Earth Chemistry’.
  • Boston, 2013: Urban-rural cycles and the eighteenth-century development of agricultural chemistry. History of Science Society (HSS), Annual meeting.
  • Uppsala, 2013 (together with Andreas Weber): Backbones of Productivity: Fertilizer, Writing Paper and Ink in the Netherlands, 1780-1815. International Conference for the History of Chemistry.
  • Leuven, 2013: The fat of the land: Dutch oeconomic chemistry. Workshop Situating Chemistry, international research network.
  • Groningen, 2013: Petrus Driessen (1753-1828) en de samenhang tussen landbouw, industrie en scheikunde in de achttiende eeuw. Colloquium centrum voor Universiteits- en Wetenschapsgeschiedenis Groningen.
  • Twente, 2013: The end of identity: Fixing material identities through state-sponsored chemistry. Research days STePS Twente University.
  • Utrecht, 2013: Dutch oeconomic chemistry in late eighteenth-century Dutch agriculture. Descartes Colloquium.

Organization of conference sessions

  • Berlin, 2014: Co-organizer of the workshop ‘Down-to-Earth Chemistry’ at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.
  • Boston, 2013: Organizer of the panel on ‘Plotting the History of European Agriculture: Between urban and rural, knowledge and practice, plants and animals, tradition and innovation.’