Open main menu

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.

Wiebe E. Bijker
Born (1951-03-19) 19 March 1951 (age 67)
Nationality Dutch
Alma mater University of Twente
Notable ideas
Social Construction of Technology-approach
Website Personal website at University of Maastricht


Early lifeEdit

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.


Bijker 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] However, Bijker received criticism regarding his Dutch MFS-II-evaluation of 8,000 pages where he used a one-sided methodology of research with peer reviews.[4]

Selected publicationsEdit


  • Bijker, Wiebe E.; Hughes, Thomas P.; Pinch, Trevor (1987). The social construction of technological systems: new directions in the sociology and history of technology. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262022620.
  • Bijker, Wiebe E.; Law, John (1992). Shaping technology/building society: studies in sociotechnical change. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262521949.
  • Bijker, Wiebe E. (1995). Of bicycles, bakelites, and bulbs: toward a theory of sociotechnical change. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262023764.
  • Bijker, Wiebe E.; van Lieshout, Marc; Egyedi, Tineke M. (2001). Social learning technologies: the introduction of multimedia in education. Aldershot, England Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate. ISBN 9780754614098.
  • Bijker, Wiebe E.; Bal, Roland; Hendriks, Ruud (2009). The paradox of scientific authority: the role of scientific advice in democracies. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262258609.
  • Bijker, Wiebe E.; Hommels, Anique; Mesman, Jessica (2014). Vulnerability in technological cultures: new directions in research and governance. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262525800.

Journal articlesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bijker, Wiebe E. (July 2002). "The Oosterschelde storm surge barrier: a test case for Dutch water technology, management, and politics". Technology and Culture special issue, Water Technology in the Netherlands. The Johns Hopkins University Press via JSTOR. 43 (3): 569–584. JSTOR 25147960.
  2. ^ See also Latour, Bruno (1987), "Centres of calculation", in Latour, Bruno, Science in action: how to follow scientists and engineers through society, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, p. 230, ISBN 9780674792913 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. ^ Tympas, Aristotle (2005), "Methods in the history of technology, Volume 2 M-Z Index", in Hempstead, Colin; Worthington, William E., Encyclopedia of 20th-century technology, New York, New York: Routledge, p. 487, ISBN 9781579583866
  4. ^ Large-scale MFS II-evaluation conducted by Wiebe Bijker claims without evidence

External linksEdit