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In 2017, the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of the UvA offered the optional course 'The Next Big Thing'. Prof. dr. Rens Bod developed this series and invited leading researchers to look into the big questions and dilemmas of their scientific discipline. These researchers gave a view of the future from ethical, social and historical perspectives. The series has now been released as a podcast (Dutch only) and is therefore free to listen to.

In the podcast episodes, nine prominent scientists look into the future by examining what they think is the next big step in their discipline. One example of this is the presentation by Erik Verlinde that information is the driving force behind new discoveries about the role of 'black matter' and Ewine van Dishoeck explains, among other things, how much smaller the universe will be with the arrival of mega telescopes. Damiaan Denys talks about the 'next big thing' in psychiatry, deep brain stimulation (DBS) or listen to José van Dijck's story about the rise of the platform society. Click on the episodes below to listen to them online (no need to go to Itunes) or search the podcast in your own podcast app by searching 'next big thing uva'.


1. Rens Bod- Introduction

2. Ewine van Dishoeck- Astronomy

3. Leo Lucassen- History in context

4. Max Welling- AI

5. Henkjan Honing- Music Cognition

6. Erik Verlinde- Physics and Black Matter

7. José van Dijck- Media and the Platform Society

8. Jef Huisman- Microbiology

9. Damiaan Denys- Psychiatry and DBS

In recent years, the popularity of podcasts has increased enormously. Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone and is listening to on-demand broadcasts from all over the world. Starting this academic podcast is a great opportunity for the UvA and the IIS to share its enormous amount of knowledge with a broad internal and external audience.