A biologist from Wageningen, Marnix Medema, is one of 25 candidates in the running to become 'Science Talent 2016'. The public can vote for their favorite candidate from August 23d till September 8th.
The nominee from Wageningen has been working as a professor at the Bioinformatics chair group since March 2015. Medema is developing tools to systematically search for hereditary material in plants, bacteria and fungus. He's hoping to find genes that can help produce medicinal substances. This could lead to new drugs search in the long term.
Medema is up against 24 other candidates from Flanders and the Netherlands. The public vote and a jury will determine the outcome of the competition. Both count for half the score. Rik Torfs, the rector of the Catholic University of Leuven, and Melanie Peters, director of the Rathenau Institute are amongst the members of the jury. The winner of the competition will be announced on September 22nd in Amsterdam, during an event organised by the magazine New Scientist.
The Science Talent of last year, Maaike Kroon, announced right after her election that she quit her job as professor Separation Technology at the Technical University Eindhoven (TUe), for a job in Abu Dhabi. This caused a discussion about the competitiveness of Dutch science. The discussion was about whether Dutch science is able to provide enough rewards and/or possibilities to keep top talents in the country.