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Roberta Croce and Catarina Dutilh Novaes elected member of KNAW

12 May 2022
KNAW The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has elected 22 new members, including two of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. They are Professor of Biophysics of Photosynthesis Roberta Croce and Professor of Reasoning and Argumentation, and their history Catarina Dutilh Novaes.

Roberta Croce

“It is a great honor to become a member of the KNAW and I am excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the mission of the academy, promoting research in the Netherlands and fostering international cooperation”

Roberta Croce's work is of great significance for a better understanding of photosynthesis, the process by which plants, algae and bacteria use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into biomass. Croce studies at molecular level how organisms optimise this process in different environmental conditions and protect themselves against damage from various forms of abiotic stress. This fundamental knowledge is of great importance for improving food crops to adapt to a changing climate. Photosynthesis in plants is also a source of inspiration for human use of solar energy. Croce enjoys international recognition and attracts talent from all over the world. She has mentored young scientists from twenty different countries.

Catarina Dutilh Novaes
"Being a member of the KNAW is a great honor but also a great responsibility. Scholars and scientists should contribute to a better world not only by producing and spreading knowledge, but also by intervening in societal issues when appropriate. I aim for my philosophical work to have real impact in society, and being a member of KNAW is likely to increase its impact and reach."

Catarina Dutilh Novaes’ main areas of work are argumentation and cognition & reasoning. In these fields, she has published an extensive oeuvre that excels in originality, insight, elegance and the ingenuity with which she connects different domains and interweaves historical, conceptual, cognitive and empirical themes. Her research on argumentation contributes to the social debate on topics such as vaccination, gender and race. Dutilh Novaes is not only innovative in her research. As the programme director of the humanities research master's at VU Amsterdam, she has also reformed education, in particular by creating more space for interdisciplinary approaches to humanities research. As a result, this programme is a driver for innovation in education at VU Amsterdam.

Membership for life
Members of the KNAW are chosen on the basis of their scientific achievements. The KNAW has about six hundred members. A membership is for life. The new Academy members will be installed on Monday 12 September 2022. Among the members are numerous prominent VU professors such as Danielle Posthuma, Jaap Seidell and Yvette van Kooyk. An overview of all VU professors who are members of the KNAW can be found here.