prof.dr. E (Esther) Turnhout

prof.dr. E (Esther) Turnhout

Full Professor 'The Politics of Environmental Knowledge'

Esther Turnhout is Full Professor at the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group of Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Her research program The Politics of Environmental Knowledge includes research into the different roles experts play at the science policy interface, the political implications of policy relevant knowledge, and the participation of citizens in environmental knowledge making, also known as citizen science. Current research focuses on the UN Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), wildlife management and invasive species, auditing practices in forest management and the production of transparency and traceability in global value chains. She has published articles on these and other topics in journals such as Nature, Environmental Politics, Geoforum, Science and Public Policy, Environment and Planning, and Conservation Letters. She is (associate) editor of Environmental science & Policy, Restoration Ecology, and Conservation and Society. She has been selected as an expert for IPBES and is currently a lead author of the IPBES Global Assessment


Prof. Esther Turnhout delivers the annual Geographies of Knowledge Lecture at Cambridge University, UK. The lecture, scheduled on 10 May 2018, is entitled Spaces of Biodiversity Expertise. In this lecture, professor Turnhout will explore different sites of biodiversity expertise, including examples from the Netherlands and from the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). She will discuss the different logics that shape the production of expertise in these sites and reflect on the implications for how we understand and govern biodiversity

Prof. Esther Turnhout delivers keynote at the ICTA Spring symposium of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.The lecture, scheduled on 17 May 2018, is entitled "Biodiversity knowledge: on use, relevance, and uselessness. In this lecture professor Turnhout will discuss a number of examples of intended policy relevant knowledge with varied outcomes for the use of knowledge. She will develop the argument that a focus on relevance can result in an overly instrumental and managerial approach to knowledge that can hinder actual usefulness

Videos of recent keynote lectures

Democratizing development research. Key note at the International Conference on Reserach for Development (ICRD 2017) (start at 30 min)

Globalizing biodiversity: representation, order, and the politics of knowledge. Keynote at the Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference (HopefulNESS 2017)

Globalizing biodiversity: representation, order, and the politics of knowledge Keynote at the conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics (ESEE 2017)