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Universiteit Leiden

Leiden University is a public research university in Leiden, Netherlands founded in 1575. Known for its historic foundations and emphasis on the social sciences, the university came into particular prominence during the Dutch Golden Age, when scholars from around Europe were attracted to the Dutch Republic due to its climate of intellectual tolerance and Leiden's international reputation. During this time, Leiden became the home to individuals such as René Descartes, Rembrandt, Christiaan Huygens, Hugo Grotius, Baruch Spinoza and Baron d'Holbach.
The university has seven academic faculties and over fifty subject departments while housing more than 40 national and international research institutes. Its historical primary campus consists of buildings scattered across the college town of Leiden, while a second campus located in The Hague houses a liberal arts college (Leiden University College The Hague) and several of its faculties. It is a member of the Coimbra Group, the Europaeum and a founding member of the League of European Research Universities.

Two of the two main science engagement activities are the department of science communication and society and the Old Leiden Observatory.

The science Communication and Society aims to understand how science communication works to improve the interaction between science and society. Central themes are ‘Bridging the gap between experts and the general public’ and ‘Evaluating Science Communication’. Our educational programme enables students to bring together their field of science and society, which is important, especially in today's society. The SCS specialisation can be combined with many of the master programmes at the Science Faculty, as well as Biomedical Sciences. Our courses train students in practical and theoretical aspects of science communication. Internships allow students to put their knowledge obtained during the courses in practice and can inspire them to choose a career in science communication or to become a scientist that also knows how to communicate about their research.

The Old Observatory of Leiden is the oldest existing university observatory in the world. While students of Leiden University receive lectures in the main part of the building, the visitor center in the basement and the telescopes on the building serve the general public.