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Speech by Minister Dijkgraaf at Leiden University: ‘When knowledge becomes critical’

On Friday 11 March (16.00 hrs.) Minister Dijkgraaf (Education, Culture and Science) will give a speech at Leiden University entitled ‘When knowledge becomes critical’. In the speech, he will address several critical challenges in science and society. The livestream will be open to all.

The speed at which science is changing our lives gives rise to tensions and concerns. Minister Dijkgraaf will cover topics such as the vulnerability of knowledge, the distance between science and society, and the relationship between science and politics.

The coronavirus pandemic has revealed how dependent we are on scientific knowledge, but also how vulnerable this knowledge is in the public debate. Facts are questioned and scientists are threatened. Minister Dijkgraaf argues that we should stand up for the facts and the people who bring us new knowledge. 


The speech will be followed by a discussion about the questions and concerns raised by Minister Dijkgraaf. Gerrit Hiemstra (NOS weatherman), Ineke Sluiter (Leiden University) and Judi Mesman (Leiden University) will reflect from their own perspective and personal experiences on the message and challenges that Dijkgraaf describes. The moderator is Auke-Florian Hiemstra, who works at Naturalis and is a PhD candidate at Leiden University.

The event will be held in the Kamerlingh Onnes building at Leiden Law School and is for guests only. However, anyone who is interested can follow the meeting live online. (The event is in Dutch).

This event is in collaboration with Leiden2022 - European City of Science.

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