Photographer: Hans Vink

Mr J.G. (Jaco) de Swart MA MSc

  • Faculty of Science
  • Visiting address
    Science Park 904  Room number: C4.273
  • Postal address:
    Postbus  94485
    1090 GL  Amsterdam

Jaco de Swart is Ph.D. candidate in the History and Philosophy of Science at the Institute for Theoretical Physics, and Vossius Center for History of Humanities and Sciences. His research revolves around the historical development of the dark matter problem. 

His interdisciplinary research project is supervised by dr. Gianfranco Bertone from astroparticle physics (GRAPPA), prof. Jeroen van Dongen from history of physics (IoP / Vossius Center), and prof. Erik Verlinde from theoretical physics (IoP).

Current aspects of his research include:

History of Dark Matter

How did we find out that 85% of the matter in the universe consists of a yet-undetected form of mass, now known as 'dark matter'? Although the stakes in finding a solution to the problem of dark matter are very high, the complex history of this issue has been quite ill-understood. 

Philosophy of Dark Matter

Despite having probed an immense parameter space for the last 40 years, the dark matter hunt has only resulted in null-results. This makes the case of the dark matter problem serve as an excellent entry into understanding how evidence and argumention function in the astrophysical sciences.

Oral History Interviews

Jaco has interviewed several scientists central to the history of dark matter. Transcripts of these interviews will soon be available at the American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library & Archives. Interviewees include: Jim Peebles, Jerry Ostriker, Morton Roberts, Alar Toomre, Ed Turner, Neta Bahcall, Jim Gunn, Richard Gott, Scott Tremaine, Paul Schechter, David Spergel, Enn Saar, and Jaan Einasto. 


2017 | Visiting Scholar, Tartu Observatory

2015 | Visiting Student, Tokyo Institute of Technology

2014 | Visiting Student Research Collaborator, Princeton University


2016 | MSc Theoretical Physics, University of Amsterdam

2013 | MA Philosophy (w/ Hans Radder and Martin Stokhof), University of Amsterdam

2011 | BA Philosophy, University of Amsterdam

2010 | BSc Beta-Gamma (Major: Physics), University of Amsterdam


2014 | Grant-in-Aid of the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics


2016 - | Member of the Faculty of Science PhD Council, University of Amsterdam

2014 - | Member of the External Advisory Board of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Amsterdam


2015 - | Philosophy of Science, University of Amsterdam

2016 - | Interdisciplinary Bachelor Projects (Supervision), University of Amsterdam

2012 - | Turning Points in the Natural Sciences, University of Amsterdam

See also my LinkedIn Page.




  • Tai, C. (organiser), de Swart, J. G. (organiser) & Realdi, M. (organiser) (12-4-2017). First Teylers Meeting on History of Astronomy and Physics, Haarlem, Netherlands. Crossing Borders: Internationalism in 20th Century Astronomy and Physics (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
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