I prefer not to spend too much time talking about myself, but I also like to make it clear who I am and what I do, so people don’t have to guess (because they might guess wrong).
I studied physics at Delft University of Technology, but dropped out somewhere around 40%. I still love physics though.
Until recently I was a part time ex-ante regulator of the Dutch intelligence and security services. I wrote a bit about that work here, which also includes my own background within one Dutch intelligence and security service. I have since resigned in protest of an upcoming new law. Very happy to say that since April 2023, I am a part time technical advisor at the Dutch Electoral Council (“the Dutch FEC”).
In addition, although I am outside academia I think I can call myself a published scientist. I focus on DNA, and my work appears in two peer-reviewed papers. I am particularly proud of my 2022 publication in Nature Scientific Data, which people are citing even.
Finally, I do a lot of writing and talking on a pretty broad range of subjects like DNA, molecular biology, innovation, Internet (governance), digital autonomy, satellites, energy, career development/recruiting and more. An alarming lack of focus.
Previously, I co-founded two companies, and both of these were eventually sold. For both of these I was also the main author of the software for most of the time, before leaving the work to wonderful new teams.
Because these companies were (eventually) successful, I can devote a lot of working hours to subjects I care about:
- DNA research and my DNA book
- Providing (realtime) insight into societally relevant metrics, like our usage of Russian gas, the composition of the Dutch electricity mix, or the performance of Europe’s Galileo system. This typically involves a lot of computer programming.
- Europe, specifically how 🇪🇺 can remain relevant & in control of its own communications, energy and IT infrastructure
- Generally explaining important science and technology to interested audiences, including governments, in print or through media appearances
The common thread through these disparate things is that most of them involve explaining stuff really well, in hopes that this either just plain makes people happy (or perhaps less afraid), or that this can engender change.
For example, my plots on European purchases of Russian gas (slightly) accelerated the dialogue on what Europe was actually doing there. I have it on good authority that my Galileo monitoring has had a (small) positive impact on Galileo operations and procedures. Two of my explanations on the effects of massive outsourcing have been cited in many relevant discussions, within (European) governments and without.
I am very available for cooperation on any of the subjects above that I care about.
Note: I am not a lobbyist, so if you see me advocating for or against something, this is just me. Also, no one is paying me to do that.