Who? Louise Fresco
What? Chair of Executive Board
Why? According to Opzij magazine, the most powerful woman in science. And earlier in the month at 97th place in the Sustainability Top 100.
‘I’m not terribly interested in those kinds of lists. You never know exactly how that kind of ranking is drawn up and who is on the jury. So for example, I’ve slid right down the sustainability ranking since I became president of Wageningen UR, whereas what I say about agriculture, nature and the environment has not changed.’
How does that happen?
‘Apparently people assess what I say differently. All those lists… Look, if a prize or distinction means something for Wageningen UR, I’m happy about that. I went to the ceremony for the World Food Prize recently in the US, where the English translation of my book Hamburgers in Paradise was being presented. For the first time Wageningen UR was visible at that ceremony and we were acclaimed as a leading university. That is useful.’
Of all the lists you’ve been on, which one were you proud of?
‘The shortlist for the Libris literature prize. Okay, that is a subjective jury prize too but I felt very honoured to be on the list. That kind of literature prize is much harder.’