The Department of Human Epidemiology has evaluated the risks of pesticides used by fruit growers in the Netherlands and has come up with some disturbing facts. There are indications that the pesticides change the sex ratio of the offspring of the farmers: marginally more girls than boys are born. The researchers have not yet located the mechanism responsible for the change in sex ratio. It is thought that perhaps some of the pesticides influence human hormones. The Department of Epidemiology has suggested that thorough investigations in the entire field of Dutch agriculture should be carried out.
Dutch students have been debating the problems of Dutch Agriculture for almost a year now. Last Saturday they organized a major seminar at The Dreijen to present their conclusions to and discuss them with young Dutch farmers. The Dutch Minister of Agriculture was present and was due to address the young farmers. About 400 angry farmers broke in to the conference and chased after the Minister, demanding full repayments for the damage caused by the recent evacuations due to the narrowly avoided flooding of the Dutch rivers. The Minister, just before his forced departure, stated that the government is not an insurance company.
In the Wageningen Bookstore Kniphorst there are demonstrations of CD-rom and CD-i until April 8th. Major scientific publishing houses have recently discovered the possibilities of the modern technology. It is now not only Doom and similar horror games that attract the attention of the audience: Encyclopedia Britannica is now also available.
Development Studies wants to change its curriculum and make more use of modern research techniques from other scientific fields such as remote sensing. Students oppose the changes because they are not so keen on losing the socio-economic elements in their education. The consensus between a group of professors has recently been obstructed by a new law which allows the university a curriculum of five instead of four years. We're almost back to square one again", says Professor Stroosnijder, because, by law, we are not allowed to change the name of our course, nor may we add new scientific fields."