NWA grant for two Geosciences public engagement initiatives

The National Science Agenda (NWA) has awarded funding to Geo Tour de France and the Hoe?Zo! Show. The 150K given to both initiatives will enable them to develop further.

Lennart de Groot, one of the initiators of the Hoe?Zo!Show, is grateful: This award provides us financial security for the next two seasons. The project has three components: a teaching package for grade 6, a science communication training course for PhD students and an interactive theatre show. He co-hosts the show with Barbara Braams (VU Amsterdam).

Theatre show

During the theatre show, PhD students answer live questions from students in the audience. For this, the PhD students are given a lesson in theatre sports, among other things. We all work hard on it together, which makes us an incredibly close-knit team. Moreover, we see that it works, we are getting a lot of praise. It means a lot to me that this initiative is also appreciated by other bodies in academia. Want to know more about what the Hoe?Zo!Show is all about? Take a look at their website, read the article Trouw dedicated to it or watch the promo video.

Geological excursion

Geo Tour de France, a collaboration between various institutes nationally and internationally, was born from the brain of cycling enthusiast Douwe van Hinsbergen. The annual cycling fest is in fact one big geological excursion, he realised. And therefore an excellent opportunity to tell the cycling public something about the environment the peloton rides through and over, and to get them excited about our field. So he launched geotdf.org, a website in seven languages that explains earth science facts for each stage in understandable terms. The website is also linked to a Twitter channel @geotdf.


Van Hinsbergen's initiative did not go unnoticed and resulted, for example, in an invitation to De Avondetappe (evening talkshow) to talk about the volcanoes of the Massif Central. With the NWA grant, Van Hinsbergen, in cooperation with Naturalis Biodiversity Center, wants to develop the Geo Tour de France into a professional outreach organisation, which uses cycling races to explain natural sciences to a wide audience.