Reflection, introspection and contemplation. These words are part and parcel of this time of the year. Like the wish lists, including that at work. However, whenever the wish list for new equipment is contemplated during a meeting, a weighty silence falls. Not because there are no wishes. It's because everyone ponders on the need to hold purchasing meetings when no money is available. Of course, cheaper stuff such as broken pipettes or a rumbling Ependorf centrifuge could be replaced. But when we are expected to deliver excellence in research, more are needed.
I am certain that the groups that have been rated just 'good' this year have a bitter pill to swallow. How can you perform excellently if there is no money for replacement and renewal? Without innovative equipment, the link to the top performers will be lost. What's more: after years of economizing, the risk of sliding downwards is as large as life.
Naturally, we want to perform even better next year. So we spend a moment in contemplation when making our wish list. We hope too that the Executive Board in drawing up its balance sheet also realizes that even the best researchers can stay at the top only when they have more money. Therefore, Santa Aalt, invest in us! That's at the top of my wish list. Let's hope that this Santa exists.