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Leiden resident Ewine van Dishoeck wants to give something back to the city

In 2022, Leiden will be the European City of Science. The preparations are in full swing, so we would like to give you a look behind the scenes. This time we talk to Ewine van Dishoeck. She is the driving force behind the annual programme at the Faculty of Science. As far as she is concerned, there will be a place for everyone next year.

What kind of research do you do?

As a Professor of Molecular astrophysics, I research the smallest particles, namely molecules, in the context of the largest imaginable: the Universe. I study how planets form, but also where our water comes from. In recent years, I have also focused on spreading our knowledge of the Universe. For example, I was closely involved in the 100th anniversary of the International Astronomical Union, where we reached an estimated 5 to 10 million people worldwide.

What do you do for Leiden City of Science?

On behalf of the Faculty, I am on the Scientific Council of Leiden 2022. This consists of leading scientists from every faculty of Leiden University. The council is jointly responsible for the interpretation of the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF). This major scientific congress takes place from 13-16 July 2022 and is the pivotal event of Leiden City of Science 2022. It promises to be an interdisciplinary spectacle with top speakers from all over the world. 

Besides ESOF, we will also organise a grand year-long programme for the public. Residents can learn something every day. I promote this programme within our Faculty. There are many activities on the agenda and I think we should play an important role in them.

Why should the Faculty participate?

The annual programme is of course a great platform to showcase our science. But I think it is also a great time to strengthen our ties with each other. After a year in which everyone literally had to distance themselves from each other, this is an excellent opportunity to strengthen our connection with the city again. As a born and bred Leiden citizen, I find it extra important to give something back to the city. It also offers the opportunity to look for each other again within our own ranks and to join forces.

What is the next step?

Now that we know the main lines of the programme, it is time to start tinkering with the details. We can really use your input for that. Do you have ideas for next year? If so, please let us know. It could be an afternoon of scientific experiments, a field trip or a guided tour. Our project coordinator, Marin Visscher, will be happy to think along with you. So please send him an email, we are open to anything!

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