Get to know us


Director Abraham Kuyper Center

René van Woudenberg

Professor of Philosophy

I am a professor of philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where I teach Epistemology and Metaphysics. Since 2013 I am the director of the Abraham Kuyper Center. The topics I research are the epistemology of reading and interpretation, philosophical foundations of the humanities, future certainties, the relation between the sciences and the humanities and the relation between Christianity and learning.


Jeroen de Ridder

Associate professor

I am an Associate Professor in Philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Furthermore I am a professor by special appointment of Christian Philosophy, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen. Thirdly I am member of The Young Academy, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

My research focuses on issues in social epistemology, philosophy of science, and philosophy of religion. Currently, most of it is in collective epistemology and political epistemology: can groups have beliefs and knowledge, are there collective intellectual virtues, how do people form and change beliefs about politics, what determines the epistemic performance of groups? I teach on these same issues, but I also enjoy teaching general epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, and business ethics.

Rik Peels

Associate professor

Rik Peels is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department (Faculty of Humanities) and the Beliefs & Practices Department (Faculty of Religion and Theology). His main research topic is the ethics of belief. He has developed a theory of responsible belief, studied ignorance, criticized scientism and developed a common sense alternative, explored the ethics of religious belief, and delved into the epistemic responsibilities of universities. He is currently leading an ERC Starting Grant named "Extreme Beliefs: The Epistemology and Ethics of Fundamentalism" (2020-2025), and with Jeroen de Ridder and René van Woudenberg, he is leading a TWCF funded project on Progress in the University (2020-2023) at the Abraham Kuyper Center.

We work, and have been working, with great philosophers and scientists.


Lex Bouter

Professor of methodology and integrity

Lex Bouter has a tenured chair in Methodology and Integrity at the Department of Epidemiology and Data Science of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers and the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Humanities of the Vrije Universiteit. He is currently involved research and teaching on research integrity topics. He was professor of Epidemiology since 1992 and served his university as its rector between 2006 and 2013. Professor Bouter has supervised 77 PhD students, of whom to date 17 were appointed as professor. He is the founding chair of the World Conferences on Research Integrity Foundation.

Joeri Tijdink

Assistant professor

Joeri Tijdink is an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department (Faculty of Humanities) and at the Ethics, Law and Humanities department of the Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc. His main research focusses on research integrity, mental health in academia, research culture, publication pressure, open science, the validity of clinical trials and assessment of research and researchers. He is currently leading a H2020 WP in the SOPs4RI-project that creates policy for research performing and research funding organisations. He is also the author of the book Scholar on the Sofa, how to survive in academia (2019). Apart from his work as a researcher, he works as a clinical psychiatrist and is cofounder and chair of De Jonge Psychiater (, a not for profit organization that discusses and promotes research in psychiatry.

Gijsbert van den Brink

Professor of theology and science

Prof. van den Brink holds the University Research Chair for Theology & Science at the Faculty of Theology. His research is focused on the interface of Christian faith and the natural sciences, but Van den Brink also participates in wider debates on the relationship between science and religion. His current research is concentrated on two projects: (1) the way in which evolutionary theory coheres with classical theistic beliefs; (2) the nature and future of theology as an academic discipline. This first project issued in his Reformed Theology and Evolutionary Theory (Grand Rapids 2020), a precursor of which appeared in Dutch in 2017. The output of the second project is mainly in the form of scholarly papers and contributions to conferences.

Vincent Traag

Senior Researcher

Vincent Traag is a senior researcher at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of Leiden University in the Netherlands. His main interests are mathematical models in the social sciences with a focus on (social) networks. He is interested in developing models of the research system in order to improve our understanding of possible policies affecting it.

Traag obtained his Master in sociology (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam (2008). Coming from a computer science background, and taking up mathematics during his studies in sociology, he went on to obtain a PhD in applied mathematics in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (2013). During his PhD he studied methods for detecting communities in complex networks, resulting in a Python software package. In addition, he performed various analyses in the area of social dynamics and social influence. At CWTS, Traag is studying research from a quantitative and modelling perspective.

Daniël Muller

Project Manager Abraham Kuyper Center

Iris Lechner

PhD Student ‘Epistemic Progress in the University’

I'm a PhD student working on the project 'epistemic responsibilities of the university', using both empirical methods and philosophical reflections we will create a taxonomy of these responsibilities. I have a background in philosophy, health sciences and research integrity, with a special interest in where science and philosophy meet.

Roland den Boef

PhD Student ‘Epistemic Progress in the University’

I am a Ph.D. in philosophy of science at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2020). My current research investigates explanations in humanities disciplines like history, linguistics, and archaeology. To what extent do these explanations conform to the standard causal model of scientific explanation? What sets them apart from those given in the natural (and social) sciences? Do they shed light on the nature of humanist knowledge? I have also worked on the philosophy of social science (e.g., implicit bias) and ethics and epistemology.

Rachel S. A. Pear

Postdoc ‘Epistemic Progress in the University’

Rachel S. A. Pear is a research fellow at the University of Haifa where she works on the “Dialogue in Science and Religious Education.” Rachel also co-teaches the first continuing education course for teachers on Judaism and evolution in Israel through Herzog College, and, along with colleagues, is establishing a regional MENA researchers' network for those who study the interface of science and religion in society. Rachel received an AB from Columbia College, an MA in Prehistoric Archeology from Hebrew University, and a PhD from Bar-Ilan University within the Graduate Program on Science Technology and Society where she wrote on Jewish American engagement with evolution over the course of the 20th century. As a postdoc at VU within the Epistemic Progress at the University project, Rachel is working on a conceptual replication of a segment of Prof. John Hedley Brooke's writings, regarding historical studies of religious responses to Copernican thought.

Hans van Eyghen

Postdoc ‘Epistemic Progress in the University’

Hans Van Eyghen is assistant professor of philosophy at Tilburg University, The Netherlands. He holds an MA in theology and an MA in philosophy from the Catholic University of Leuven and a PhD in philosophy from VU Amsterdam.

Hans published widely on cognitive explanations of religious belief and behavior and the epistemic implications thereof. He published a book on this topic titled 'Arguing from Cognitive Science of Religion. Is Religious belief Debunked' in 2020. His research also addresses topics in epistemology, philosophy of religion and cognitive science.

Anne Scheel

Postdoc ‘Epistemic Progress in the University’

Anne Scheel is a postdoc in a collaborative project between the VU Department of Philosophy and CWTS Leiden. The goal of this project is to investigate individual and collective notions of scientific progress with simulation models, taking an interdisciplinary perspective that combines epistemology, philosophy of science, meta-science, and computational social science. Anne's background is in psychology and meta-psychology. In her PhD, she studied reforms of research and publication practices in psychology (in particular Registered Reports) as part of the discipline's effort to recover from the replication crisis and improve the reliability and efficiency of published research.

Charlotte Rulkens

Research Associate ‘Epistemic Progress in the University’

Charlotte Rulkens is an art historian and curator specialized in Dutch seventeenth-century painting. As a Research Associate within Epistemic Progress in the University, she works on the subproject Replicating a Rembrandt Study. The aim is to replicate a study into two portraits of the young Rembrandt in respectively the Mauritshuis in The Hague and the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, and learn more about the possibilities and limitations of replication studies in the humanities. Charlotte earned her Bachelor in Art History from the University of Amsterdam and her Master Curating Art and Cultures from the University of Amsterdam and the VU, with a focus on the relationship between art and science. Prior to her appointment at the VU, Charlotte worked at The Frick Collection in New York, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Mauritshuis. She contributed to various exhibitions and catalogues like Slow Food, National Trust, Facelifts and Make-overs and In Full Bloom and curated the exhibition Rembrandt and the Mauritshuis that was on view on occasion of the Dutch Rembrandt Year in 2019.

Associate members

Since 2013, we have been working with many great philosophers and scientists. Please find everyone part of our informal network below. All these people work on the field of ‘Science and the Big Questions’.

Emanuel Rutten

Post Doc researcher

Edwin Koster

Assistant professor

Terence Cuneo

Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, University of Vermont, USA

Gerrit Glas

Professor of Philosophy of Neuro Science, VU Medical School

Kelvin McQueen

Assistant Professor, Chapman University, USA

Russ Shafer-Landau

Professor of metaethics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

David Widerker

Professor of Philosophy

Jan Boersema

Professor of Fundamentals of environmental sciencess

Leon de Bruin

Assistent Professor in Philosophy of Mind, Radboud University Nijmegen

Tamarinde Haven

PhD Student ‘The Epistemic Responsibilities of the University’

Tamarinde Haven is a postdoc researcher at Charité Berlin. She was a PhD Student in the project ‘The Epistemic Responsibilities of the University’ at the Abraham Kuyper Center. This project focusses on collecting evidence on fostering research integrity but with a view to generate generalizable insights. The main research question is: What do members of our academic community consider to be the most salient aspects of the research culture that promote or hinder research integrity, and which do they believe to be the most important barriers to responsible conduct of research and the most promising interventions to prevent research misconduct and questionable research practices?

Here you can find more information on the PhD project: