Wetenschap - 2 februari 1995

English Summary

English Summary

  • The current flooding of the rivers Rhine and Maas (Meuse) in the Netherlands is also causing problems for the town of Wageningen and the university. The dyke in the Wageningen area is under constant surveillance. There are a few weak spots in the dyke, near the swimming pool and the nature reserve the Blaauwe Kamer. If the dyke gives way the western part of Wageningen will come under about two metres of water. The university has cleared the ground floor of its buildings in Duivendaal, Zodiac, Binnenhaven and Nieuwlanden. The district water board, which is responsible for the dyke, has announced that the risk of the dyke breaking is small.

  • The loss of nearly 20 chairs under the proposed cuts will have little adverse affect on education, according to advice from the AUW Education Committee to the university Executive Board. The scrapping of twenty thesis supervisors will not significantly reduce the choice available. The commission has not evaluated the potential effects on the quality of education.

  • According to the Education Committee, only Tropical Forestry and Animal Production will be affected by the cuts. Tropical Forestry will be reduced to one chair. Animal Production will lose the chairs in Tropical Animal Production as well as that of Grassland & Forage Science, which will necessitate total rescheduling of the course.

  • One of the chairs due to be made redundant, the geologist Kroonenberg, has indicated that if his position is lost it will have dire consequences for this subject. He gives two obligatory courses in Soil, Water and Atmosphere, and is currently supervising eight MSc and ten PhD students. He cannot hand over the supervision work to his only other colleague Felix, who has already had his hours cut, or to the soil scientists in his department.

  • Currently showing in the Molenstraat cinema is the remake of Frankenstein, a version which follows Mary Shelley's novel more closely than its predecessors the book. This filming of the famous story of Victor Frankenstein whose one obsession after the death of his mother becomes to create life itself, prompted the WUB to accompany three biotechnologists to the film, and afterwards pose the question to what extent does this story from 1816 bear any relevance to the current status of developments in science and technology? An interesting discussion ensued which highlighted the fact while researchers are no longer so isolated from the rest of society, as Frankenstein was, the preoccupations of these two groups remain as distant as ever. What happens with the results of research cannot remain under the control of the scientists.

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