Teaching, writing and carrying out research proposals, communicating results: more and more is being required of academics. As a result, fewer students and young researchers are aspiring to an academic career. But things can be different, as Jeroen Geurts told us in his Dies speech.
By giving lecturers room to develop further within their discipline, facilitating researchers so they can focus better on their research, and building bridges between disciplines, we could make working in academia a much more attractive prospect to talented and enterprising academics. The recognition and rewarding of diverse talent creates a shift in emphasis from the 'individual' to the 'collective'. The focus is then on a team effort that moves everyone towards a common goal.
Nationally and internationally, there is a broad movement of Recognition and Rewards. VU Amsterdam is also making great strides in this area. During his speech, Jeroen Geurts told us more about how we, as a university, are putting this into practice.
Panel discussion: the future of academic cooperation
The speech was followed by a panel discussion with Marileen Dogterom (president of KNAW) and Jos Akkermans (associate professor of Sustainable Careers and Organizational Behavior at the School of Business and Economics) on the envisioned future of academic cooperation.
Using inspiring examples within the university, they engaged in discussion with lecturers, young researchers, entrepreneurs and experts in science communication.
Robbert Dijkgraaf: effective science communication
Following this, Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf and Ionica Smeets talked about the initiative to establish a national centre for science communication. This new centre aims to gather and share expertise in order to make science communication more effective. What will the future be for science communication? From 'sending' information to meaningful dialogue within academia and between science and society.
Honorary doctorate for virologist Marc Van Ranst
The Dies Natalis is traditionally the occasion when honorary doctorates are awarded. This year, virologist Marc Van Ranst received an honorary doctorate for his outstanding contribution to virology and the important work he is doing in combating disinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and other possible pandemics.
Never before has there been so much momentum to create a new academic world together. A better world that is more diverse and inclusive.