Universiteit Leiden

nl en

De dag van Jasper

Jasper Knoester is de decaan van de Faculteit Wiskunde & Natuurwetenschappen. Hoe gaat het met hem, wat doet hij precies en hoe ziet zijn dag eruit? In elke nieuwsbrief geeft Jasper een inkijkje in zijn leven.

Wednesday 27 March

‘It's Wednesday, usually a quiet day in the new wing of the Faculty Office. I've gotten completely used to the Golaeus Building by now. And also to the new neighbours: the institutes situated in the same wing. And it does exactly what it was intended for: as members of the board and services, we randomly meet people every day whom, until last month, we usually only saw by appointment. Very valuable! From September onwards, it will become even livelier when the students also make their entry into the new building.

I start the workday with a meeting with Monique Leemkuil about appointment and promotion files. This week, the number of files is limited, and we go through them quickly. We also discuss an upcoming communication towards the institutes. For a smooth processing of files, it proves time and again important that everyone is clear about who does what in the faculty office and which documents are needed. Because people also change positions within the institutes, it is important to periodically list this and involve everyone.

After this meeting, I go to the Rapenburg for a discussion between the rector, several deans, and the three recently appointed University Professors. This is a new role in which the appointed professor contributes to a strategic, university-wide goal. This can be related to scientific content or focused on a cross-cutting theme. The first appointees are Ineke Sluiter (FGW), Judi Mesman (FGGA), and Arnold Tukker. The latter comes from our own faculty (CML) and will focus on the scientific theme of sustainability. Tukker particularly wants to advocate for new inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations needed to strengthen this theme. A better moment could hardly have been imagined: just yesterday, we had a positive evaluation of the planned bachelor's programme Science for Sustainable Societies that we intend to start in 2025, together with the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs.

After this interesting meeting, where various university priorities are discussed, I cycle back to the Gorlaeus Building for afternoon meetings. Successively, we discuss the development of our facilities for cryogenic electron microscopy and our national role in it (NeCEN), activities in the field of our faculty theme Drug Discovery and Development, and a work meeting with Pieter Schipper.

In the afternoon, I attend a book presentation. Wim van Saarloos, emeritus professor at LION and former president of the KNAW, has co-authored a textbook with colleagues Vitelli Vincenzo and Zorana Zeravcic: Soft Matter: Concept Phenomena, and Applications. For the presentation, there is an engaging seminar by physicist Daan Frenkel of Cambridge University, after which Wim explains the structure of the book. I have great admiration for colleagues who convert their knowledge of the field into a readable textbook. Knowing Wim, I have no doubt that this is a very successful example. The explanation also makes that clear. The book furthermore includes many carefully constructed exercises, and there is a website with further explanations and videos. I look forward to getting my hands on it!

After the presentation, where KNAW President Marileen Dogterom accepts the first copy, there is a successful reception where I meet many younger and older acquaintances.

By bike, train, and bike, I quickly head home, with a copy of the hefty book in my bag. I have dinner with the children, prepare for tomorrow, and go swimming. Then I happily browse through the new book. They say writing preserves. And if you write like this, you certainly do!’


This website uses cookies.  More information.