Wetenschap - 23 oktober 1997

English Summary

English Summary

English Summary
  • Plant breeders find it difficult to relate the yield of a crop to its genetic characteristics. They normally select on external features. Prem Bindraban proposes a system analysis in his thesis Bridging the Gap between Plant Physiology and Breeding, which he defended on 8 October. He treated wheat as a system that produces and collects carbohydrates. His recommendations will be used at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre, CIMMYT, where he did his PhD thesis
  • The council that authorizes pesticides and herbicides in the Netherlands is worried that the large-scale introduction of transgenetic herbicide-resistant crops will stimulate the use of herbicides and will cause heavy environmental damage. The council authorises the use of specific herbicides for particular crops, but cannot judge the multiple effects of implementation. To limit environmental damage caused by excessive use of herbicides, council chairman Professor Jan Koeman, toxicologist at the WAU, wants the Ministry of Agriculture to change its authorization criteria
  • The Dutch students have a new timetable: the three terms with three exam periods a year have changed to six lessons and exam periods. The advantages: students can concentrate on a few subjects for a shorter period and can immediately do their examination. The disadvantages: the number of re-examination opportunities has decreased and students find it more difficult to plan their programme. I have three exams at nine o'clock on one Monday morning in December. I hope I can arrange something with my lecturers, says one student. The opportunity for students to compile their own study programme by taking a lot of optional courses has decreased, according to one study coordinator
  • Two weeks ago the WUB produced a hit parade of the publications produced by the WAU departments. Is it publish or perish? Some graduate schools, which are responsible for the research quality at the university, only admit researchers who have published one or two articles a year in refereed scientific journals. Others count the publications of their researchers, but do not take action if production is low. The schools judged by the Dutch Academy of Sciences are much tougher, because they are dependent on the Academy's recognition for receiving more money

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