At a time in which scientists are rare creatures in politics, Rosanne Groot, who is close to completing her Bachelor’s in Food Technology, is turning into quite a political animal. On Sunday she was chosen as a member of the national board of Dwars, the youth wing of the GroenLinks (Green Left) party.
Rosanne Groot. © Guy Ackermans
Just as other students join a student society when they arrive in Wageningen, so Groot became an active member of Dwars on getting here three years ago. ‘I found politics interesting, wanted to develop my views further and was looking for a challenge alongside my studies. I have ideals about what the world should look like and they are closest to GroenLinks and Dwars. Politics is one way of achieving those ideals.’
In her studies, Groot found a challenge in the honours programme. That is why this food technologist now also knows all the ins and outs of the Paris Climate Accord. ‘In that programme, I did a project on the government’s liability for complying with the Paris climate agreement.’
In politics, she benefits from the approach to thinking that she has developed through her studies, says Groot. ‘As a food technologist you learn to first read the literature and test your knowledge with other people. Then the solution to your problem automatically becomes clear. There is never one single solution to political problems but it’s still important to give supporting evidence for your opinion.’
Groot also used the day spent with a manager (part of the leadership track) for her political development: she recently spent a day out and about with the Wageningen GroenLinks councillor Lara de Brito. ‘It’s an interesting managerial position in which you face lots of restrictions but can still achieve a great deal. And I saw that you can be friends with the people you work with but still be a leader at the same time.’
Rosanne even used her internship in Denmark for Dwars by playing an active role in the federation of young Greens in Europe, the FYEG, in addition to her research work. During that period she attended the climate conference in Marrakesh (COP22).
As the international secretary of Dwars, Groot will be spending the coming year looking at the opportunities for Dwars members to find challenges abroad, as she did. ‘I will also represent Dwars abroad.’ In addition, she plans to continue with a Master’s in Wageningen. ‘But that won’t be full time,’ she laughs.