Wiebe Bijker

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Wiebe E. Bijker (born 19 March 1951, Delft) is a Dutch professor, chair of the Department of Social Science and Technology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Bijker's father was an engineer involved in implementing the Delta Plan after a disastrous dike breach in the Netherlands in 1953 when young Bijker was two years old and later became deputy director of the Delft Hydraulics Laboratory.[1] Presumably, the unique fact of parts of the Netherlands being below sea level, the well-known concerns in innovation surrounding this condition for centuries, and his father's involvement all contributed to the younger Bijker's interest in technology studies.[2]

After finishing Gymnasium in Emmeloord (1969), the younger Bijker received his BSc degree in philosophy from the University of Amsterdam (1974), his engineer's degree in physical engineering from the Delft University of Technology (1976), and his PhD degree from the University of Twente in 1990. He was an assistant and associate professor of philosophy from 1987 at the Maastricht University before becoming full professor of technology and society in 1994.

Bijker's fields of research include social and historical studies of science, technology and society; theories of technology development; methodology of science, technology and society studies; democratisation of technological culture; science and technology policies; ICT, multimedia and the social-cultural dimensions of the information society; gender and technology; and meta studies of architecture, planning, and civil engineering. With Trevor Pinch he is considered as one of the main adherents of the Social Construction of Technology-approach.[3]

Main works[edit]

  • Co-editor with Thomas P. Hughes and Trevor Pinch, The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1987.
  • Co-editor with John Law, Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in sociotechnical change, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992.
  • Of bicycles, bakelites and bulbs: Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change, Cambridge, MA; London MIT Press, 1995.
  • Co-editor with Marc van Lieshout and Tineke M. Egyedi, Social learning technologies: the introduction of multimedia in education, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001.
  • Co-author with Roland Bal, Ruud Hendriks, The paradox of scientific authority: the role of scientific advice in democracies, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009.


  1. ^ "The Oosterschelde Storm Surge Barrier: A Test Case for Dutch Water Technology, Management, and Politics", Technology and Culture, vol. 43, no. 3 (July 2002), pp. 569-584. http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/technology_and_culture/v043/43.3bijker.html
  2. ^ See also Latour, Bruno, Science in Action, p. 230 et seq. Latour, a colleague of the younger Bijker, uses the father's genius in engineering to illustrate how scientists gain control over, or mobilize, difficult-to-manage objects.
  3. ^ Aristotle Tympas: Methods in the History of Technology. In: Colin Hempstead, William E. Worthington: Encyclopedia of 20th-Century Technology, Vol 2, ISBN 1579583865, 9781579583866, Taylor & Francis, 2005, ISBN 1579584640, p. 487

See also[edit]

External links[edit]