His Majesty the King visited four leading research institutes of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) on Wednesday, August 29, 2018.
His visit started at the KNAW Humanities Cluster, an alliance of three humanities institutes: the Huygens ING, the Meertens Institute and the International Institute for Social History (IISH). The king was welcomed by Wim van Saarloos, president of the KNAW and the directors of the cluster. After a short introduction they showed the King around at the Spinhuis. Centuries ago this was a place where poor and begging women were locked up to sew and spin. Today it is a modern workplace for scientists and support staff. The king talked to them about modern, often digital, methods and techniques to answer age-old research questions.
King Willem-Alexander then visited the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS-KNAW). There he spoke with director Jan Willem Duyvendak and fellow Joep Leerssen. Professor Leerssen talked about his research into banal nationalism, the way vocal singing nurtures the sense of ‘we’ and how methods from digital humanities can visualize a phenomenon such as nationalism.
The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) is the forum, voice and conscience of Dutch science. She derives her authority from her members of quality selected members. From an independent position, it monitors the quality and interests of science and advises the government. She is responsible for fifteen institutions that, with their research and collections, are at the forefront of Dutch science and enjoy international fame. The King is the patron of the KNAW.