prof. dr. Hedwig te Molder

  • Boelelaan 1105, Main Building Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, room 13A-95

    1081 HV Amsterdam


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Personal profile

Ancillary activities

  • COGEM | Bilthoven | Voorzitter Subcommissie Ethisch-Maatschappelijke Aspecten | 2020-01-01 - present
  • Onderzoeksraad voor de Veiligheid | Den Haag | Lid Begeleidingscommissie Betrouwbaar Onderzoek (3 bijeenkomsten van 2 uur in 2023) | 2022-12-22 - 2024-03-01

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Personal information

Hedwig te Molder is a full professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where she heads the Language and Communication Group. She studies how people communicate issues of science and technology in their everyday lives, using Discursive Psychology and Conversation Analysis. She has a special focus on the changing role of experts and expertise in an alleged 'post truth' society. More generally, she looks at how people manage their knowledge rights and responsibilities, and the hidden moralities in doing so. Domains of application range from nutrition, vaccination and ADHD to gene editing and climate change. In these controversial areas, her applied interest lies in making the shift from debate to dialogue.

Hedwig published more than 90 scientific articles and book chapters. She is currently supervising 8 PhDs and a postdoc. The most recently completed PhD project is “How do you know? Everyday negotiations of expert authority” by Wytske Versteeg.

In 2007, Hedwig received the Distinguished Book Award from the American Sociological Association for Conversation and Cognition (Cambridge University Press, with Jonathan Potter). In 2009, she was a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and in 2015 a Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna. In 2017, she was a senior Fulbright Scholar at Rutgers University, School of Communication and Information, USA. 

She chairs the social-ethical committee of the COGEM, the scientific advisory board for the Dutch government on genetic modification, and is a member of the Executive Board.

Together with Noëlle Aarts (Radboud University), she founded the Centre for Dialogue. 

Hedwig coordinates the international master track Dialogue, Health and Society, with dr Joyce Lamerichs and dr Bogdana Huma. 

She frequently features in the media and is a well-known speaker. 

On September 29, 2021, Hedwig gave her inaugural speech at the VU (in Dutch): "Dialogue against the tide. Beyond value shyness"/"Dialoog tegen de stroom in. De waardenschaamte voorbij".  


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

User created Keywords

  • Conversation Analysis
  • Discursive Psychology
  • Science Communication
  • Online Interaction
  • Contested Expertise
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Dialogue


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