I was at a meeting with an interdisciplinary group about setting up a research project. The usual arguments went to and fro across the table: it had to be innovative and yet tie in with the existing literature, etc. And then someone said something I had heard before during this kind of brainstorming session on research: ‘we must be careful that we don’t approach it too medically.’
Guido Camps (36) is a vet and a postdoc at the Human Nutrition department. He enjoys baking, beekeeping and unusual animals.
The thought underlying this caveat is that we don’t have a medical facility at WUR and should therefore steer clear of clinical research. Quite apart from the fact that I think you should never let your ambitions (in research or anything else) be hamstrung by fear, I think it is strange for a university with the motto ‘To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life’ to exclude such an important aspect of the quality of life.
We’ve got full professors in our group who are doctors, I myself work with an MRI scan in a clinical setting, and since last year we have had an official health research unit complete with medical staff and facilities for clinical research. So there are enough arguments for saying that we certainly can do clinical medical research, and there is no need to try to avoid it.
But I have thought of an easier solution. The Executive Board is always looking for new investments to strengthen WUR’s hand. My suggestion: buy a hospital. In fact: buy the Gelderse Vallei Hospital in Ede. Wageningen University Medical Centre: to improve the quality of life.