Maarten Wolsink is Associate Professor at the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands). He studied physics (BSc), Social Science Methodology, Political Science and Mass Communication (MA). His expertise and teaching concern the methodology of social science research, energy policy, the social acceptance of energy innovations, in particular renewable energy sources; and environmental conflicts within environmental policy and infrastructure decision-making (energy, waste, urban densification and water).

He graduated with a PhD in Social Psychology in 1990 (thesis on the Public and Social Acceptance of Wind Power). In the 1980s he was one of just three scientists worldwide researching this topic. Although he is the only one of this original group still working on this subject, he has now been joined by hundreds of researchers. Motivated by this research, he was one of the first scientists to recognize the invalidity and the counter-productivity of the ‘NIMBY’ frame for social acceptance of renewables as applied by developers and policy actors (Wind Engineering, 1989). Instead, decision-making about environmentally relevant infrastructure concerns conflicts with a strong ‘environmental justice’ dimension, which often remains unrecognized by authorities.

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