Science - November 29, 2011

Silver medal for Rabbinge

Professor Rudy Rabbinge received a Silver Medal from the university on 24 November after delivering his farewell lecture. The audience in the Junushoff theatre hall listened with great interest when Rabbinge spoke once more about how politicians can improve the world with comprehensive scientific insights.

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The Silver Medal is seldom handed out. Kofi Annan received this Wageningen distinction in 2008; Thieu Meulenberg, the founder of marketing studies in Wageningen, got it in 2005; microbiologist Wout Middelhoven was awarded the medal in 2000.
In his farewell lecture, Rabbinge spoke out against dogmas and doomsday prophets. In the last century, the world population has grown from one to seven billion, all of which can still be fed all this while. That there are a billion people suffering from hunger is mainly due to the poor distribution of food, says Rabbinge. Luckily, international farming research is reaping better results, partly due to new collaborations among farming research institutes which Rabbinge has forged in the Science Council. He received a standing ovation after his farewell lecture.
Rector Martin Kropff made an attempt to summarize the many scientific and management functions which Rabbinge had undertaken in the past forty years. 'If I were to name all of them, it would take up so much time that Rabbinge won't be able to give his farewell speech', he joked.

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