Webinar on 4 April 2017 - 16.00h (4pm) CEST


On 12-13 June 2017 AESIS will organise their annual conference ‘Impact of Science’, for which Elsevier is lead sponsor. One of the main themes of this year will be the search for methods for stimulating and measuring both world class science and societal impact. Leading up to this conference a Webinar will be organised on 4 April 2017, in which three experts will provide insights into a topic that is related to that of the conference in June.


Researchers are obliged to demonstrate how to have impact on society with their research. More so, most of the funding institutions require proof of societal impact before any grants are awarded. Some claim however, that this requirement can limit the possibilities for a research and might even lower the overall quality, as more fundamental research has a lower priority. Others state that the quality of a research project improves if you include a focus on societal impact. During the webinar we will discuss multiple systems and methods both for raising the impact of research as well as assessing the quality of a research and the societal impact it has. There is a growing movement that wants to look beyond bibliometrics. The webinar will discuss initiatives that have been taken in institutional processes of the universities as well as evaluation and promotion standards that are in place at the moment. Our goal is to give more insight in the current shift from metrics towards the use of societal impact as an evaluation factor to assess quality. The apparent duality of research excellence and societal impact leads to this main question:

'How can research excellence and societal impact be united in one model?'

The AESIS-Elsevier webinar will foster the discussion on the interaction between research excellence and social impact by addressing the topic from the viewpoints of:

    • Susanna Pehrson, Research Officer at KTH Royal Institute of Technology
      Institutional processes to raise societal impact
    • Rinze Benedictus, Strategic Advisor at UMC Utrecht & Policy advisor ‘Science in Transition’
      Policies geared towards creating societal impact
    • Peter Darroch, Senior Product Manager Research Metrics at Elsevier Management
      Responsible use of metrics and expanding the basket


The webinar will take about 45-50 minutes, in which there will be presentations by three experts. Each expert will give a presentation of under 10 minutes, so there will be plenty of time for discussion with the other speakers and participants.

Susanna Pehrson

Susanna PehrsonSusanna Pehrson is a senior research policy officer at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. She is involved at central level in the development work to strengthen KTHs societal Impact. This work includes articulating strategies and supporting the leadership, faculty and all staff to increase capabilities for societal Impact. One area she is specifically active in is leading workshops and courses for researchers on how to improve societal impact from both projects and long term research. Susanna also works with strategies regarding research infrastructures at KTH and research follow-ups and evaluations, including KTH Research Assessment Exercise in 2012 in which she focused on the category Impact and Engagement with Society.

Susanna has a background as Head of Section at the Ministry of Science and Education and as a freelance journalist.

Rinze Benedictus

Rinze BenedictusRinze Benedictus works as a staff advisor at the University Medical Center Utrecht and he is involved in the Science in Transition initiative, that added greatly to the debate about quality, reproducibility and relevance of scientific research. Benedictus was trained a biologist, and after working as a science journalist, is now active in science policy and management. At the UMC Utrecht he is developing and implementing new incentives and rewards for researchers. He is also doing PhD research about the formative effects of these new incentives and rewards at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Peter Darroch

Peter DarrochDr Peter Darroch is an expert in the practical use of research metrics to provide complementary insights into the research performance of Countries, universities, researchers, journals or individual research outputs. His knowledge has developed ‘on the job’, working closely with higher education institutions, funders and other clients to help them use metrics appropriately to support research assessment and management. He was part of the Elsevier Research intelligence group for over 4 years, working with tools such as SciVal that provide information and metrics to support research assessment and benchmarking globally. He now works in the Research Metrics team, developing the research metrics strategy at Elsevier as well as products to facilitate the visualization and responsible use of data and metrics. Prior to joining Elsevier, Peter conducted Postdoctoral research in both the United States and the United Kingdom and held several positions over a 5 year period in the healthcare industry. He holds a first degree from the University of St. Andrews where he was awarded the Physiological Society Undergraduate prize and a PhD from the University of Strathclyde


Organised in collaboration with:

LOGO Elsevier

Practical details

Date & Time: 4 April 2017 - 16.00h (4pm) CEST
Location: Online, using the software GoToWebinar

For an impression of what the Webinar will be like see last years' event page.