Prof. Jan J. Boersema (1947) received his academic training as a biologist, majoring ethology, at the University of Groningen and lectured on biology and environmental sciences at the same University. He graduated in theology with a thesis titled: The Torah and the Stoics on Mankind and Nature (English edition published with Brill, Leiden, 2001). In 1994 he became Reader in Environmental Science and Philosophy at Leiden University and at the same time Secretary General of the Council for the Environment at the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment. At this ministry he became a cofounder and member of Forum a think-tank operating from 1999 – 2002. In 2002 he was appointed as special professor, and in 2005 as full professor, at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where he is based in two institutes: Blaise Pascal Institute (Interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Science, Society and Religion) and IVM (Institute for Environmental Studies) His inaugural lecture entitled Hoe Groen is het Goede Leven (How Green is the Good Life) in which he developed a new theory on the ecological history of Easter Island was held in October 2002. His current research is focused on the relation between sustainability, nature, culture, worldviews and religion, with the working title “How Green is Progress? His publications cover a wide range of subjects in the environmental field. In 2003 he became Editor in Chief of Environmental Sciences.

In 2009 – 2010 he was a visiting fellow at St Edmund’s College.  During that time he was interviewed by Radio Cambridgeshire – his interview is available here.

Recent Publications

  • Jan J. Boersema (2001) The Torah and the Stoics on Humankind and Nature. A Contribution to the Debate on Sustainability and Quality. E.J. Brill, Leiden
  • J.J. Boersema (2002) Why is Francis of Assisi the patron saint of ecologists? Science & Christian Belief, 14/1, 51-78
  • Hoogland, C. T., de Boer, J., & Boersema, J. J. (2004). Meat’s animal origin; reminding consumers and bridging the value – behaviour gap. In: J. De Tavernier & S. Aerts (Eds.), Science, ethics & society. 5th Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics (pp. 279-282). Leuven, Be: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Agricultural Bio- and Environmental Ethics.
  • Jan Boersema, Andrew Blowers & Adrian Martin (2007) Biofuels and perverse subsidies: fuelling the wrong solutions? Environmental Sciences 4 (4): 195-198.
  • Andrew Blowers, Jan Boersema & Adrian Martin (2008) Why environmental policy needs a local perspective. Environmental Sciences 5 (3): 145-151
  • Jan J. Boersema (2008) How Green is Progress? The Need for Science and Religion in Sustaining Biodiversity. Chapter 10 in: W.B. Drees, H. Meisinger and T.A. Smedes(eds.) Creation’s Diversity: Voices from Theology and Science. T&T Clark, Edinburgh, 133-155.
  • Jan Boersema, Andrew Blowers & Adrian Martin (2008) The Religion-Environment Connection Environmental Sciences 5 (4): 217-221.
  • Jan J. Boersema & Lucas Reijnders (Eds.) (2009) Principles of Environmental Sciences. Springer, Dordrecht/Boston MA. (ISBN 978-1-4020-9157-5).

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