Wetenschap - 22 oktober 1998

English Summary

English Summary

English Summary
  • The WAU celebrated its 2,500th PhD graduation last week. The graduates have produced forty metres of agronomic history in the WAU library since 1920. The number of dissertations has increased rapidly in the past twenty years - in the first decades only fifty to sixty PhD theses were completed, against a thousand in the last decade. A lot are devoted to agricultural problems abroad, starting with the economic analysis of the djati uprising and the djati forestry on Java in Indonesia in 1920, which deals with Dutch rule and exploitation of the former colony. A recent inventory of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows that the WAU has produced a third of the PhD theses in Holland on international development. This amounts to 250 dissertations in the past ten years, of which a third were produced by international PhD students
  • A task force on internationalisation at the WAU has produced a ambitious plan to turn it into the main university for food sciences and rural development in Europe. By the year 2010, all courses at the WAU should be given in English and half of the lecturers and sixty percent of the students should come from abroad, according to the task force. The WAU should organise its education according to the Anglo-Saxon model of Bachelors (BSc), Masters (MSc) and Doctor (PhD) and should invite more top scientists from abroad to work for three to twelve months in Wageningen on path breaking research. The plan is ambitious, but if you don't have a goal, you won't go anywhere, says Job Schoute, member of the task force. One of the first things the WAU should do is open up all university vacancies to foreign researchers, advises the task force
  • Albert Beintema is obsessed by the moorhen of Tristan da Cunha, the remote island in the Atlantic Ocean. Beintema, who works at the DLO institute for nature conservation, is challenging the suggestion of the three hundred inhabitants of the island that the moorhen, who is believed to attack the more favoured albatross birds, is from the nearby island of Gough and should be destroyed. Beintema has captured two moorhen on the steep, black-coloured cliffs of the island and wants to compare the DNA of these with the DNA of moorhen from Gough, verifying his assumption that the moorhen of Tristan da Cunha is native to the island. Another piece of evidence is two moorhen skins, brought to the British Museum in the 19th century. The WAU department of Animal Breeding and Genetics wants to compare the DNA of the moorhen and the old skins in the quest for the truth
  • Jan Diek van Mansvelt of the WAU section of Ecological Agriculture has been awarded his PhD degree (doctor habilitas) in Moscow. Nobody in Wageningen knows what he has written, because the thesis - a summary of his ideas and work - is in Russian. He was invited by his Russian colleague Sonja Temirbekova to defend his work after eight years of collaboration with her. Russian agriculture, with little fertilizer, pesticides and other inputs, is comparable to the kind of organic agriculture that Van Mansvelt wants, says the Russian plant breeder Igor Uschapovski, working in Wageningen. Van Mansvelt's principle: plant genes will express differently in different environments. A well-known biological principle you in fact want to exclude in agriculture, says biologist Jos van Damme

  • Re:ageer