Wetenschap - 1 januari 1970

Van der Heijden bedrijfskundig directeur ID-DLO

Van der Heijden bedrijfskundig directeur ID-DLO

Van der Heijden bedrijfskundig directeur ID-DLO

Dr Philip van der Heijden is sinds 1 april bedrijfskundig directeur van het Instituut voor Dierhouderij en Diergezondheid (ID-DLO). Hij vervangt de huidige bedrijfskundig directeur, ir Anton van Weelderen, die sinds 1 april directeur is van het International Institute for Land Reclamation. Van der Heijden werkte sinds 1995 bij het ID-DLO als hoofd van het Bureau Onderzoekzaken en Public Affairs. M.W

The WAU should cooperate with the international agricultural research institutes of the CGIAR in the tropics instead of building up its own regional outposts

This is the view of Dr Eric Smaling, coordinator of international research at WAU, and member of the work group for the international action plan. Smaling wants to spend more than half of the two and a half million guilder development research budget on cooperation with international institutes. DLO will also be putting two million guilders into this cooperation in the near future: an ideal opportunity for collaboration. Not all university researchers are convinced: some would prefer the University to invest in smaller scale collaboration with universities in developing countries. Smaling envisages two major collaboration programmes; one in Africa for natural resources and one in Asia for food technology and processing

Meanwhile, the first reactions to the International Action Plan are beginning to emerge

Nutrionists Jo Hautvast and Fro Pepping wonder why there has not been any previous collaboration with CGIAR institutes. They have also developed a view of how a successful research school should function on the basis of criteria that can be evaluated. The criteria should include the number of PhD graduations and publications in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, advanced courses should be given in selected regional locations, which will stimulate contact with potential sandwich course PhD students. Entomologists Van Huis, Meerman and Takken believe that the WAU needs to take a more market-oriented approach to financing research, and to take into account which departments have been successful in obtaining external finance in the past

A study afternoon organized by the Dutch Botanical Society revealed a generation gap between old and young plant taxonomists

The older generation were trained to compare form and structure of plants and flowers. According to younger taxonomists morphology may be misleading, and the use of molecular biology techniques provides a welcome addition for solving problems of classification. Dr Ruud van der Meijden head of the Research group on Dutch and European Flora in Leiden had to more or less go back to school in order to be able to understand his research assistant Annemieke Kiers. Her DNA research indicated that chicory and endive are less closely related than was previously thought on the basis of morphological comparison. DNA research indicates that chicory is more closely related to Cichorium spinosum, a small prickly plant that bears little physical resemblance to either chicory or endive. While Van der Meijden sees the advantages of DNA research, he is not convinced of its ability to answer fundamental research questions

Want to practise your newly acquired Dutch reading skills? Turn to page 6 for an article on WUR's solutions to millennium problems. Alternatively, look up the English translation on the Wb website