Robbert Dijkgraaf has been director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and Leon Levy Professor since July 2012. He is also Distinguished University Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Amsterdam. Dijkgraaf gained a PhD with honours under Nobel Prize laureate Gerard ’t Hooft in 1989. In 2003, he received the Spinoza Prize for his work on string theory. Dijkgraaf was President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences from 2008 to 2012. His columns in NRC Handelsblad, which were partly collected in the books Blikwisselingen (2008) and Het Nut van nutteloos onderzoek (2012), the website Proefjes.nl and his frequent tv appearances allow him to fulfil his ambition to bridge the gap between science, art, politics and education.