Friday, 21 June around 350 journalists, press officers and researchers met at Bessensap2019! in Amsterdam to network with colleagues and exchange knowledge on the latest developments in science and its communication. The theme of the day was the popularization of science. This year's keynotespeaker is the British psychologist Richard Wiseman, well-known for his bestsellers and media appearances. He shared his experiences, challenges, dilemmas and dos and don'ts.Take a look at the programme.

Keynote speaker: Richard Wiseman

Richard Wiseman holds Britain’s only Professorship in the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. Richard, once described by a Scientific American columnist as ‘one of the most innovative experimental psychologists in the world today’, has sold over 3 million copies of his books worldwide. Many of these books explore the science of success and focus on practical, evidence-based techniques that improve people’s personal and professional lives.

Feature articles about Richard’s work have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world, including The TimesThe New York TimesThe Guardian, and The New Yorker. He also regularly appears on television and radio, including items on ABC’s ‘20/20’ and NBC’s ‘Dateline’. In addition, Richard presented BBC 2’s major psychology series ‘The People Watchers’ and the History Channel’s ‘Your Bleeped Up Brain'. He is also one of the most followed psychologists on Twitter.

So who better to tell us about the opportunities and risks associated with the popularisation of science than Richard?

Note: an interesting fact: Richard is a member of the Inner Magic Circle. His illusion-based YouTube videos have attracted over 500 million views.

Event chairman: Dolf Jansen

Dolf Jansen took his degree in criminology from VU Amsterdam in 1988. In 1989 he and Hans Sibbel (Lebbis) won the Leiden Cabaret Festival. Since then, Dolf has been a cabaret artist, writer, musician, presenter and marathon runner. He enjoyed great success as part of the cabaret duo Lebbis & Jansen. Since 2006 Dolf has been touring Dutch theatres with his own theatre programmes. He appears regularly on current events programmes such as Pauw and DWDD. And he can be heard on the radio every week in 'Afslag Thunderroad' and 'Spijkers met Koppen'.

Dolf Jansen is alert, energetic and to the point. He likes to immerse himself in issues. And he has a sharp tongue when interviewing people. Given the event’s theme, he is the ideal person to act as chair and sure to keep us on our toes. But that’s not all, because Dolf will close the programme with a performance in which he will present to us his undoubtedly sharp and humorous vision of the theme.


The Bessensap programme comprises several components. Its plenary programme will focus on current affairs and debate; a variety of sessions will allow scientists to present newsworthy research results; and at a series of workshops you can get better acquainted with the working methods used by journalists and press officers, as well as polish up your knowledge and skills in all sorts of areas. The winners of the NWO Spinoza Prize and Stevin Prize will also be announced at Bessensap.

Register now

It is not possible to register anymore.

Impression Bessensap 2018


Please direct your questions to Sharmila Karia via

Do you want to read the NWO newsletter?

Subscribe to the NWO newsletter and receive once every two weeks the NWO newsletter with relevant news for you about grants, new calls and meetings in your discipline.