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my academic hero

No CV with 500 publications

No CV with 500 publications

“Be careful,” says researcher Anne Roefs (Liempde, 40). “There are two psychology professors who are called Colin Macleod. One is from Australia and the other is from Canada. They even call it the Two-Colin-Problem. They have met each other once and wrote an article together, because as it happens, they both carry out researc...
“I adopted an almost Spartan life”

“I adopted an almost Spartan life”

Recently professor Marc Davidson gave his inaugural speech at Maastricht University. The title? Duurzaam willen ontwikkelen (willingness to engage in sustainable development). A speech on environmental philosophy. But what has that got to do with physics, the subject he has been dreaming about since he was six and in which he eventually comple...

“He gives you the keys to the car, but watches from a distance”

“He gives you the keys to the car, but watches from a distance”

A real “maestro” – this is how Lorenzo Moroni, professor of biofabrication for regenerative medicine at MERLN, describes the retired biomaterial scientist Joost de Wijn, formerly of Isotis B.V. “In the traditional sense of the word: someone who is leading and actually shows you the way.”
"Not someone for quick successes or easy scores"

"Not someone for quick successes or easy scores"

He is very open and despite his success, he is never arrogant. He gives researchers the space to follow their passion. When decisions need to be taken, he wants to hear everyone’s opinions first. So, he is a friendly man. But if the interests of the research institute that he helped set up, are at stake, professor Frans van Winden can be fier...
"His work opened up a new world for me"

"His work opened up a new world for me"

“It was 2002, I was twenty years old and studying Health Sciences, Policy and Care Management. I had a tremendous hunger for other knowledge, read a lot of anti-globalist literature. Someone, I believe it was lecturer Jan van der Made, recommended Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns (Theory of Communicative Action) by Jürgen Habermas (born in...

It would be arrogant to compare myself to him"

It would be arrogant to compare myself to him"

The American James Coleman is one of the greatest educational sociologists from the post-Second World War era, but also a man who didn’t think twice about sending politically incorrect opinions on education out into the world. Professor Rolf van der Velden, director of ROA (Maastricht Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market), grin...

“Every sentence in her papers is just right”

“Every sentence in her papers is just right”

A clear thinker who provides constructive and unambiguous feedback, but who can also deal with criticism very well. Alexander Brüggen, senior lecturer at Accounting and Information Management, came to know Joan Luft, emeritus professor at Michigan State University, during two projects on which they worked together.
“An hour after the Ph.D. ceremony in Maastricht, he is already on his flight back”

“An hour after the Ph.D. ceremony in Maastricht, he is already on his flight back”

Accepting money from the industry? Absolutely not, research must remain pure! Applying for patents? No, that would distract from the scientific work. In professor Giuseppe Remuzzi’s Italian Instituto Mario Negri, everything is about the patient and the search for medicines and therapies. He has no time for niceties.
Not afraid to be contrary

Not afraid to be contrary

He was a pioneer in the field of chronic pain. His name is Wilbert Fordyce and he was a clinical psychologist, whose ideas still stand. Johan Vlaeyen, professor of Psychology, owes a great deal to him.
“What made him so special was the attention he paid to the patient’s story”

“What made him so special was the attention he paid to the patient’s story”

Professor Eddy Houwaart qualified to be a general practitioner, but trained himself to become a medical historian. He is a typical interdisciplinary scientist and he could name at least one inspirer for every discipline. But his greatest hero is British historian Roy Porter. “The way in which he told his story before a large audience, whether...
Bringing abstract matter to life

Bringing abstract matter to life

Analytical chemistry is not for everybody. It is a dry subject, but Anne Bruinen, Ph.D. candidate at the M4I institute, has been inspired for life by a fanatical trainee researcher in Leiden.
“He opened up a whole field”

“He opened up a whole field”

“If I have looked further than others, it is only because I have been carried by those who were great.” Dixit Isaac Newton. The giant in the field of Ph.D. candidate Mireille Sthijns is Arne Holmgren, the Swedish professor of Biochemistry who always brings his dachshund to work
“Sure as hell not scared”

“Sure as hell not scared”

She is from the north of England, “from a lower social class, which is still easy to hear in her accent”. Jane Humphries (1948), professor of Economic History at All Souls College in Oxford, does not disguise her roots; on the contrary, she likes to joke about it. “She is small in stature, inventive in her academic work, super int...
"A monster of a book, almost incomprehensible"

"A monster of a book, almost incomprehensible"

“It was 2002, I was twenty years old and studying Health Sciences, Policy and Care Management. I had a tremendous hunger for other knowledge, read a lot of anti-globalist literature. Someone, I believe it was lecturer Jan van der Made, recommended Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns (Theory of Communicative Action) by Jürgen Habermas (born in...

Discovering your own voice

Discovering your own voice

She was the first lawyer to win the Spinoza Prize, the most prestigious scientific award in the Netherlands, in 2009. Professor Deirdre Curtin has spunk, has always gone her own way, off the beaten track. That is what makes her an example for Anniek de Ruijter, assistant professor of European Law.
“He dared to go against the prevailing views”

“He dared to go against the prevailing views”

When Jos Perry, historian and researcher at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, took his PhD, his supervisor refused to attend in cap and gown. The three-piece suit that he wore, was already a tremendous step for former communist and member of the Dutch Communist Party CPN, professor Ger Harmsen (1922-2005).
Foucault kept him awake

Foucault kept him awake

Hans Schouwenburg was born a year after French philosopher Michel Foucault died from AIDS in 1984. The PhD graduate from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences was drawn into Foucault’s ideas when he was a student. “Things that you took for granted, he brutally discredited. I started to doubt everything. It almost led to an existential...
”You speak differently at the doctor’s than at a party”

”You speak differently at the doctor’s than at a party”

“William Labov, everyone calls him Bill, is the founding father of sociolinguistics, my field of specialisation,” says professor Leonie Cornips. “Before Labov, American scientists studied the language as a mental construct. They analysed sentences and decided intuitively whether a sentence like ‘I see a bird in the garden&rs...
Ban all booze! Or not?

Ban all booze! Or not?

Eloquent, erudite, but also arrogant. These are the characteristics of British psychiatrist Griffith Edwards (1928-2012), an authority in the field of alcohol addiction. Edwards would have liked to have banned all alcohol, says addiction specialist Paul Lemmens, but when you met him at home, port flowed liberally.
Passion-Based Learning

Passion-Based Learning

Jonathan van Tilburg, senior lecturer at Human Biology and Movement Sciences feels that everyone should see the TED talks by Sir Ken Robinson, emeritus professor of Didactics at the University of Warwick. “I can’t imagine anyone not getting inspired.”
“He is like a fatherly friend to me”

“He is like a fatherly friend to me”

Biochemist and former rector Coen Hemker was a member of the ‘Gang of Seven’ that prepared for the arrival of the Maastricht Faculty of Medicine at the beginning of the nineteen-seventies. Hemker became a hotshot in the field of thrombosis. Who was his inspiration? A world-famous Scottish haematologist who could polish Japanese swords w...
Passionate, open and transparent

Passionate, open and transparent

It was her very first job, the department of Epidemiology, at the beginning of the nineteen-nineties. An inspiring and stimulating environment, says Silvia Evers, professor of Public Health Technology Assessment. She is not the only one; about one third of the group climbed the ranks and became professor. The department chairman at the time played ...
At the top as well as very friendly and personal

At the top as well as very friendly and personal

Lisa Brüggen, senior lecturer of Marketing, knew that it had to be a woman if it was about her academic hero. “There are plenty of men who inspire me, but a woman at the top stimulates just that little bit more.” The choice was Mary Jo Bitner, professor of Service Marketing at Arizona State University.
The terror of GDR athletes

The terror of GDR athletes

Cell biologist Werner Franke is a broad-shouldered, charismatic, very present man. It was this former head of the German cancer research institute who played a formative role in the career of UM professor Frans Ramaekers.
“He made me a real scientist; someone who creates lasting knowledge”

“He made me a real scientist; someone who creates lasting knowledge”

“Dad, can you clear up some questions I have about NO?” Harald Schmidt’s son, who is studying Medicine in Southampton, recently asked through Skype. Little did he know that Schmidt, professor of Pharmacology & Personalised Medicine, had actually co-discovered the molecule NO, while working with the man who made it famous: Amer...
Well-known among LSD lovers: Bicycle day

Well-known among LSD lovers: Bicycle day

It is not really a book that is popular among teenagers, but Vera Schrauwen (42), born in Zurich, became fascinated by it at the age of fifteen: LSD - Mein Sorgenkind (1979) by the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann. It is also written in a style that is dry as dust, says the lecturer at Radiology. The subject itself, however, is interesti...
“A dainty woman with more power than a hundred people”

“A dainty woman with more power than a hundred people”

Stefania Tuinder was studying to be a plastic surgeon when she met professor Grazia Salimbeni at a congress: a plastic surgeon who has world-wide esteem because of her pioneering work in the field of facial paralysis. She was immediately sold on the idea.
Bryson’s books are food for thought

Bryson’s books are food for thought

What use is Nienke van Atteveldt to society? A good question and one that this Maastricht neuroscientist (who works primarily as a lecturer at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) has asked herself several times during her career. A few years ago, she decided to share her knowledge with the rest of the Netherlands. How? By writing a book about the world o...
“He engages young people in the development of treatment programmes”

“He engages young people in the development of treatment programmes”

In the world of mental healthcare, everyone knows what the name Pat McGorry stands for: innovation. The Australian psychiatrist transformed the mental healthcare system for young people in his own country, and was one of the first proponents of the phase system – breaking the illness down into different stages. For this reason, he is an inspi...
“What’s this about?”

“What’s this about?”

There is something that Harro van Lente finds lacking in many curricula: the odd one out, a subject that knocks you off balance and makes you think: ‘What do I do with this?’ That is exactly the feeling that the Maastricht professor of Science and Technology Studies had during the lessons with Péter Várdy, his former philosophy lecturer...

Tracing your father’s steps

Tracing your father’s steps

He led by example and showed his eight children - who all went to university - how to make something of life. Yes, it was his father who inspired Canadian researcher Lloyd Akrong the most.
“He is a Harvard star but not a prima donna”

“He is a Harvard star but not a prima donna”

It’s a bit silly, the format of this series, says Prof. Kiran Klaus Patel with a smile. He holds the Jean Monnet chair of European and Global History and from January 2016, he will be vice dean of Research at the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. “I grew up in an academic tradition - in Germany - where we say: ‘When you see a m...
“She still sends me a card when I return from a congress”

“She still sends me a card when I return from a congress”

Can someone who had to start working after primary school influence an academic career? Certainly, says Gaby Odekerken, scientific director of the Service Science Factory and professor at the department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management. “My grandmother still inspires me every day.”
“Law is not neutral, but embedded in society”

“Law is not neutral, but embedded in society”

Whenever she has to give an important lecture, Professor Hildegard Schneider, dean of the law faculty, thinks of the lessons she learned from Professor Bernhard Groβfeld. “He’d always say, no matter how experienced you are, be sure to practice an important lecture in advance. Keep your eye on the time: 45 minutes is 45 minutes. And a se...

“It blew my mind when I first saw it”

“It blew my mind when I first saw it”

“It’s not just beautiful, it’s magical,” says Steven Kelk, assistant professor at the Department of Knowledge Engineering about Courcelle’s Theorem, proved by the French mathematician and computer scientist Bruno Courcelle.
An outsider at highschool

An outsider at highschool

At the Bisschoppelijk College Sittard grammar school, Prof. Hans Bosma (Einighausen, 1963) did not go down in history as the model pupil. More like a teenager, in a Black Sabbath or Motörhead t-shirt, who was often contrary, played truant, did not work, and who was moved back from sixth to fifth class. “I obviously wasn’t feeling good,&...
“He beat the living daylights out of you”

“He beat the living daylights out of you”

Political philosopher Jerry Cohen was a “bag of nerves” when he had to give a lecture. But once he was on stage, he made a show out of every appearance at Oxford University, Teun Dekker vividly remembers. The acting dean of University College Maastricht did his PhD with the man who loved drama, jokes and a lot of gaiety, many examples o...

Fascinated by Robot Dreams

Fascinated by Robot Dreams

“I think that it was the late Piet Vroon who inspired me to go into science,” Pascal van Gerven (44), assistant professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences, e-mails from the North of Italia where he is staying at the moment. A little later – when he glances through the list of those who went before him in this series ...

“He permanently changed my view on politics”

“He permanently changed my view on politics”

He wanted his book History of the Peloponnesian War ‘to be a lasting possession’. As far as historian Pieter Caljé is concerned, the Greek historian Thucydides certainly succeeded in this. “It is 2,400 years old, but it is still very much alive.”
In an orange suit and wearing an Afghan chain

In an orange suit and wearing an Afghan chain

Whether it was a coincidence or not, last week Jaap Cohen, son of the former UM rector Job Cohen, obtained his doctorate with distinction in Amsterdam for his dissertation on the history of a Portuguese-Jewish family. It is the family of professor Hans-Ulrich Jessurun d’Oliveira LL M, the almost 82-year-old legal expert who taught the young R...

“He is genuinely interested in young academics”

“He is genuinely interested in young academics”

She didn’t initially aspire to an academic career, but when Denise Prévost, Associate Professor of International Economic Law, worked with André van der Walt, currently distinguished Professor of Law at Stellenbosch University, she changed her mind.
An academic father figure

An academic father figure

He is full of (British) humour and is intellectually extraordinarily inspiring. Andrew Webster, professor of Science and Technology Studies at the University of York, and at the beginning of this century the supervisor of Ragna Zeiss, now lecturer at the Maastricht department of Science, Technology and Society Studies.
“The godfather of medical ethics”

“The godfather of medical ethics”

Harry Kuitert (1924) was a well-known person in the world of theology in the Netherlands during the nineteen-sixties and -seventies. He was, to put it mildly, a controversial man. He inspired Maastricht ethicist Wybo Dondorp as a student.
Black spots between the shoulder blades

Black spots between the shoulder blades

Ten years ago, nobody would have believed that adults could have something like brown fat. That was something found only in animals and new-borns, who are in need of extra heat. Because brown fat is a tissue that burns calories, thus providing heat. At the time, in 2004, postdoc Joris Hoeks (36) went to Stockholm. He did research into metabolism...

“You must not fight, for anything really”

“You must not fight, for anything really”

The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh has nothing to do with Anke Oenema’s academic field. But when it comes to dealing with an academic career, he is a great source of inspiration for this associate professor of Health Communication.
“No, he never came along to the ‘Oktoberfest’”

“No, he never came along to the ‘Oktoberfest’”

It started during the interview for a postdoc place in Munich. Aside from his imposing appearance ("he is about two metres tall") and tasteful attire, professor Hans-Jürgen Wester pointed out a missed opportunity during her earlier PhD research. Wouldn’t she have been better off including certain control studies in her publicat...

Literary people who love gardening

Literary people who love gardening

It was her Dutch language teacher, Herman Hissink (1915-2011), who opened up a whole new world for Lies Wesseling. “Wheels started to turn.” After six years of grammar school, Wesseling decided to study English and Literary Theory. She is now a professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
About statistics and the zap and scan culture

About statistics and the zap and scan culture

Many scientists, from Health Sciences to Economics, have no real idea about what they are doing when make statistical calculations. They know how the software (SPSS) works but they usually don’t know the model behind it. Helpless researchers from Health Sciences, Medicine and Psychology regularly knock on professor Gerard van Breukelen’...

How a Playboy Bunny turned into a well-respected immunologist

How a Playboy Bunny turned into a well-respected immunologist

Polly Matzinger (1947) didn’t quite know what to do with her life when she was young. She even worked as a Playboy Bunny playing billiards. “It was a great job”, she once told the Independent. “It paid 40 cents an hour and I got to listen to a lot of great conversations.” Many years later, in 1994, she proposed a ...
“Jeffery will be the cause of a scientific earthquake”

“Jeffery will be the cause of a scientific earthquake”

Jeffery D. Molkentin is an American molecular biologist who works six and a half days a week, who can be incredibly funny, and wants to have nothing to do with quick and dirty scientific research. He was one of the first to go in search of the heart’s DNA, twenty years ago. “A pioneer who dropped a bombshell among cardiologists througho...
“He gave me the freedom to find out what I wanted”

“He gave me the freedom to find out what I wanted”

His openness, kindness and sharp mind; this is what Gerhard Weiss, chair of the Department of Knowledge Engineering, remembers most about his former PhD supervisor Wilfried Brauer (1937–2014). “His style made people feel committed.”
“Well done Wynand Wijnen”

“Well done Wynand Wijnen”

He has three idols, each for different reasons, says Cees van der Vleuten, professor of Educational Development. “But because Observant is forcing me to choose one, it will have to be Wynand Wijnen.” This educational innovator, advocate of PBL and one of the founding fathers of Maastricht University “showed me the value ...
Never too young to climb the ladder

Never too young to climb the ladder

“I work in a man’s world,” says Blanche Schroen (34), lecturer at the Faculty of Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences. “The world of academe is a competitive environment.” She admires women who succeed in those surroundings. Personally, she easily loses her balance and is sensitive to conflicts, she says. Her great exam...

How power relations in the world work

How power relations in the world work

Anthropology was an extra course for Kai Heidemann, a social scientist at the University College Maastricht, when he was studying journalism and communication as an undergraduate. But after reading Eric Wolf’s Peasant Wars of the Twentieth Century (1969), he decided to make the switch and commit to anthropology.
“He taught me that risks are essential, and sometimes even fun”

“He taught me that risks are essential, and sometimes even fun”

‘Thinking outside the box’, it is a popular cliché, but some people really do it. According to Jaap Bos, professor of Banking and Finance, the American Yvon Chouinard, owner of the outdoor brand Patagonia, is one of those people.
Crazy about time series

Crazy about time series

He will have been an inspiration for many economists, both in the Netherlands and abroad. If only for the fact that Jan Tinbergen (1903-1994) was one of the founding fathers of Econometrics. He moved in the same circles as Einstein and Keynes, and was the first to receive the Nobel Prize for Economics, in 1969.
“I named a teddy bear after him”

“I named a teddy bear after him”

The syllabus 'Philosophy of Mathematical Thought and Information Technology' is on his desk. “That was the teaching material that was used for one of the subjects that I took with Louk Fleischhacker. I found it when I was clearing out my parents’ house”, Arie van der Lugt (1968) explains.
“An ordinary man, very down to earth, sympathetic and without any airs”

“An ordinary man, very down to earth, sympathetic and without any airs”

A large grey moustache, genial, commonsensical, a facile pen and the worldwide authority in the field of the History of Science. Professor Steven Shapin, 71 years old and a professor at Harvard, is the great example for Raf de Bont, assistant professor of the History of Science at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and since recently a member ...
“She was warm-hearted, it was like visiting an aunt "

“She was warm-hearted, it was like visiting an aunt "

She is a Dutch celebrity: Major Alida Bosshardt (1913-2007), the figurehead of the Salvation Army. “She had a social conscience, never passing a judgement on others,” says senior lecturer and programme director for the Faculty of Law, Ria Wolleswinkel, who did a one-year traineeship at Bosshardt’s Goodwill Centre in Amsterdam&rsqu...

“He taught me to be critically minded”

“He taught me to be critically minded”

He wanted to become a psychoanalyst. That is why David Bernstein (1956) moved from his place of birth Los Angeles to New York at the beginning of the nineteen-eighties. “New York University offered one of the best psychoanalytically oriented programmes,” says Bernstein, professor of Forensic Psychotherapy at the Faculty of Psychology an...

“He dared to stray from the beaten path”

“He dared to stray from the beaten path”

Englishman Alan Turing is the originator of everything that Jos Uiterwijk, senior lecturer at the Department of Knowledge Engineering, works with every day. He was one of the founders of modern information science and artificial intelligence. In addition he is known for cracking the Enigma code in the Second World War, and the machine and test that...
The advantage of unvarnished criticism

The advantage of unvarnished criticism

After completing a study in Groningen, Lemmink left for a job with the PTT in The Hague. As a “junior water carrier” he watched in awe when he ended up in an advisory group for the organisation’s top management. An interesting job, but after four years he moved further south when the UM set up an Economics faculty. “I was m...

“I couldn’t refuse his LinkedIn invitation”

“I couldn’t refuse his LinkedIn invitation”

Right up to the last minute, Flemish Koen Schruers (48), senior lecturer at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life sciences, had doubts about which study to choose. “On the day of registration at the university in Diepenbeek (now University of Hasselt, ed.), there was the choice between a pink or a blue form. Pink was for medicine, blue for...

“My drive to do fewer incisions, comes from Bonjer”

“My drive to do fewer incisions, comes from Bonjer”

She would like to name more than one source of inspiration. Maastricht surgeon Nicole Bouvy would also prefer to choose people from outside the world of science. Actually, ‘source of inspiration’ is not the right term. Seeing patients who are so sick and miserable after an operation – literally because of all the incisions –...
Far ahead of his time

Far ahead of his time

Just like Jan Tinbergen was the founder of Econometrics, it was Joop Hartog who was at the basis of Labour Economics in the Netherlands. Professor Gerard Pfann (54) can still imagine him as he was then. "Sandals, long beard, and a tiny pencil in his hand to note everything down. Hartog did not act as an authority in the traditional sense. He w...

“He came down from his ivory tower”

“He came down from his ivory tower”

A revolutionary who wanted to reform criminal law. That was Louk Hulsman (Kerkrade, 1923). But even though he was recalcitrant and radical, according to professor of criminology Hans Nelen he should not be made out to be an absurd ‘abolitionist’.
Original ideas and risky research

Original ideas and risky research

Carolien Martijn (50), senior lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences, came close to throwing in the towel when she was a student. “Choosing psychology was not a positive choice. I chose it because all other studies seemed more boring.” It was her lecturer Piet Vroon, the psychologist who has meanwhile passed away, who m...
“He taught me the trade”

“He taught me the trade”

His field – Science, Technology and Society studies (STS) – is so new and interdisciplinary that professor Wiebe Bijker does not have a single master. “In the traditional sense, someone who led you by the hand.” But there is someone with whom he walked hand in hand and took a dive into the deep end: Trevor Pinch, a Briton.
Listening to Françoise Dastur’s beautiful voice

Listening to Françoise Dastur’s beautiful voice

As a child, Jenny Slatman (1969) could watch with bated breath while her grandmother peeled potatoes. “The movement of her hands. Beautiful.” The tensed muscles of runners also induced admiration. The human body is the leitmotiv through Slatman’s career; she is an associate professor of philosophy in the department of Health, Ethi...

“He went to the office every day until he was 84”

“He went to the office every day until he was 84”

It was January 2005 when the Maastricht professors Franz Palm and Jean-Jacques Herings together delivered the laudatory address when Belgian economist Jacques Drèze was awarded his honorary doctorate. “That day was a high point and a low point for me. I was 35 at the time and felt so privileged to be the honorary supervisor for Drèze, the mos...

"Frijda provoked students"

"Frijda provoked students"

“Unconventional and provocative.” That is how Marko Jelicic (55), senior lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences, describes his source of inspiration, Nico Frijda (87). Frijda, emeritus professor at the University of Amsterdam, gained international fame with his magnum opus The Emotions (1986). In this book, he proposes ...

“Miller no longer put parents on a pedestal”

“Miller no longer put parents on a pedestal”

After reading Alice Miller’s Das Drama des Begabten Kindes (1979) at the beginning of the nineteen-eighties, Maastricht jurist Jan Willems thought “now I have my hands on something”. Adults who have been neglected, emotionally or sexually abused, or who have been put under pressure by their parents when they were young, can suffer...

“The fact that I didn’t drop Psychology is all down to one man”

“The fact that I didn’t drop Psychology is all down to one man”

It was touch and go whether professor Rainer Goebel (1964, Fulda), the world-famous brain expert, would throw in the towel with regard to his Psychology study. What was wrong? At the beginning of the nineteen-eighties Goebel registered with the University of Marburg for two studies: Computer Sciences and Psychology. The interaction between mind an...