Since its inception, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has been a learned society of outstanding Dutch scientists and scholars. Membership is awarded on the basis of scientific and scholarly achievement. Members are appointed for life. The Academy will appoint a maximum of sixteen new members every year. KNAW membership is regarded as a great honour in the Netherlands.
Siewert-Jan Marrink has gained international renown for his molecular simulations of biomembranes, the MARTINI computer model in particular, which can accurately predict the behaviour and the dynamics of complex biological systems. Marrink realized that the molecular structure of biomolecules need to be simplified enough to enable computer calculations of large collections of these molecules. However, the simplification should not go too far in order to retain important chemical properties of the biomolecules.
Marrink's work has profoundly changed the field of membrane biology, and he has made several ground-breaking discoveries regarding biological membranes and the protein complexes embedded in them. The MARTINI software is also being used globally, even outside of the fields of membrane biology and biology altogether.
Judith Rosmalen is a driving force in international biopsychosocial research on health. She focuses on persistent physical problems, caused by known medical conditions or by unknown causes. Her research makes use of long-term cohort studies such as Lifelines and TRAILS, which she has often helped set up. These studies map a unique combination of biomedical and psychosocial data related to health, and have proven to be highly valuable, for example in research on post COVID condition.
Maria Antonietta Loi holds two world records: that of the best performing solar cell created with quantum dots and made using Sn-based perovskites. Loi has the perfect combination of creativity, vision and transdisciplinary knowledge required to create the solar cell of the future. By exposing physical principles and manipulating materials down to the nanoscale, she translates fundamental physics into concepts that can be used for the energy transition. Her work has yielded patents, start-ups and close cooperation with industry. Loi is also a passionate and knowledgeable educator. Her PhD students invariably complete their PhDs within the nominal four years and her postdocs find excellent positions.
Dirk Slotboom specialises in explaining and manipulating membrane transport in bacteria and mammalian cells. He established his reputation by discovering a new displacement mechanism, with one protein component distorting the membrane, allowing a second protein in the membrane to tilt, thus bringing in a substance from outside the cell. In his work, he combines biochemical, biophysical and microbiological methods, but Slotboom's interests extend far beyond his own field. Together with synthetic chemists, he is attempting to develop substances that can inhibit membrane transport and, ultimately, possibly serve as antibiotics. He is an outstanding, multiple award-winning lecturer and one of the architects of an entirely new multidisciplinary curriculum for the Life Science and Technology programme at the RUG. The programme meets a great need among both students and employers.
Gerard van den Berg uses enormous data sets to analyse the role that economic factors play in various aspects of human life. One of his ground-breaking research projects examined the impact of the economic circumstances surrounding people’s birth on their subsequent health and well-being. Another of his projects explored the cohesion between government policy, the duration of unemployment and salary levels. His work has led to policy amendments that have improved the lives of millions of unemployed people in Germany, Sweden and France. On his advice, for example, the strict sanctions imposed on unemployed people who did not apply for jobs frequently enough were withdrawn. After years of working at various foreign universities, Van den Berg returned to Groningen last year.
Rineke Verbrugge trained in logic and the foundations of mathematics, and made a significant contribution to the fields of provability logic and epistemic logic. She then broadened her horizons and successfully switched to the logic of interactive systems, such as groups of people working together. Her work is highly interdisciplinary, creatively combining the fields of mathematical logic, artificial intelligence and cognitive science. Verbrugge has published multiple articles on intelligent interaction. She developed a famous game that brings together the perspectives of logic, game theory and cognitive psychology. She also built the first formal model for working together in teams, which is able to connect information flows, collective intentions and joint planning activities with each other.
Prof. Sijbren Otto is a pioneer in systems chemistry, a new discipline in chemistry that studies networks of interacting molecules and their properties. Otto is using this approach to study the chemical basis of life. He succeeded in building systems with ‘dead’ molecules made in the lab that can make copies of themselves, with the aim to undergo Darwinian evolution. Mutations occur during replication, subsequently followed by selection depending on the chemical environment. This gives certain mutants the ability to replicate faster and win the race for resources available. Otto and his group also show how self-replicating molecules can use chemical energy to produce and maintain more complex structures: a first step towards metabolism.
André Aleman (1975) is professor of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry at the Department of Neurosciences of the UMCG and the Department of Psychology of the University of Groningen. Aleman is an innovative, internationally renowned brain researcher. His research field covers subjects such as suicide, ageing, schizophrenia and depression.
Read more about André Aleman
Amina Helmi is a professor of Astronomy specializing in Milky Way dynamics, structure and formation at the Kapteyn Institute of the University of Groningen. She is one of the founders of galactic archaeology: the reconstruction of the history of star systems on the basis of their current positions, movements and the stars within them.
Read more about Amina Helmi
Clara Mulder is Professor of Demography and Space and has made significant contributions to the fields of geography, demography and family sociology. She was one of the first researchers to use the concept of the life course to study how people take decisions about work, divorce, family and domicile.
Read more about Clara Mulder
Linda Steg is Professor of Environmental Psychology and examines how we can understand, predict and influence environmentally aware behaviour. She has studied how people use their cars and why they waste energy, for example. Steg showed that when it comes to the environment, people pay less attention to cost/benefit analyses, facts and arguments than to standards, values and emotions.
Read more about Linda Steg
Marcel Visser was one of the first researchers to demonstrate how climate change disrupts the plant and animal food chain. One of his discoveries is that when oaks bear leaves earlier in spring, the food supply of winter moth caterpillars also peaks before time and the great tits that depend on them arrive too late to find caterpillars to feed their fledglings.
Other KNAW members with an appointment at the UG
Prof. dr. P. Hendriks (since 2016)
Prof. dr. ir. B.J. van Wees (since 2009)
Prof. dr. P. Kleingeld (since 2015)
Prof. dr. H.W. Broer (since 2008)
Prof. dr. T.N. Wijmenga (since 2012)
Prof. dr. B.L. Feringa (since 2006)
Prof. dr. L.W. Nauta (since 2011)
Prof. dr. M.A. Harder (since 2005)
Prof. dr. C.W.A.M. Aarts (since 2011)
Prof. dr. M. Joëls (since 2002)
Prof. dr. P.C. Westerman (since 2010)
Prof. dr. J.T.M. de Hosson (since 2001)
Prof. dr. A.J.M. Driessen (since 2009)
Prof. dr. ir. E. van der Giessen (since 1999)
Prof. dr. T. Piersma (since 2009)
Prof. dr. S.M. Lindenberg (since 1994)
Prof. dr. B. Poolman (since 2009)
Prof. dr. T.S. van Albada (since 1984)
KNAW Academy Medal
De Royal Netherlands Academy Arts and Sciences awards every other year the Academy Medal to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of science in the Netherlands. In 2019, Trudy Dehue, scientific sociologist, author and emeritus professor of the University of Groningen, received the Academy Medal from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The prize was awarded to Dehue for the fact that she started the societal debate on important issues in science.
Read more about Trudy Dehue
Academy Professors Prizes
Until 2016 the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) also annually awarded two prizes, each worth € 1 million. One prize was awarded to the most excellent researcher in the social sciences or humanities, and the other to the most excellent researcher in the natural, technical or life sciences. The Academy Professor grants were awarded to excellent researchers as lifetime achievement awards for exceptional achievement throughout the course of their careers.
2010: Prof. Elisabeth de Vries
Elisabeth de Vries (Medical Oncology) was appointed Academy Professor in recognition of her pioneering research within a very wide spectrum of medical oncology. She is a prominent international researcher and develops and implements new techniques in both scientific research and patient care.
2010: Prof. Eric Bergshoeff
Eric Bergshoeff (Theoretical Physics) has made important contributions to scientific breakthroughs in the field of string theory and membranes. He is an internationally renowned scientist whose ideas have strongly influenced the field and its development. Throughout his career, Bergshoeff has been an innovative researcher, and his development of brane theory has had a lasting influence on theoretical and mathematical physics.
2008: Prof. Ben Feringa
Ben Feringa was awarded an Academy Professor Prize for his groundbreaking work in the field of chemistry. He became world-famous after he synthesized organic molecules. Feringa was the first person to synthesize molecular motors that continued to turn under the influence of light. Colleagues worldwide regard this as one of the high points of modern chemistry. Many of the postdoc researchers he has attracted from all over the world have moved on to fill high positions at prominent universities outside the Netherlands.
2007: Prof. Dirkje Postma
Dirkje Postma, Professor of the Pathophysiology of Respiration, was awarded an Academy Professorship ‘for her contributions to the field of pulmonary disease’. Postma has worked on asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and allergies. Her early work, leading to the use of steroids as a standard treatment for asthma patients, has benefited many millions of people worldwide. She continues to do both clinical work and basic research at an exceptional level. She has successfully expanded her research into the genetics of asthma and is now recognized as being one of the leading investigators in this field worldwide.
2005: Prof. Bram Buunk
Bram Buunk , Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Groningen, was awarded an Academy Professorship for his influential theoretical contribution to social comparison theory, his empirical research into social comparison processes in several new domains, and his evolutionary-psychology approach to social behaviour. His work constitutes an important contribution to solving problems linked to work-related stress, burnout, mental health and serious illnesses. His research has also resulted in important new conclusions in the field of jealousy and reciprocity in interpersonal relationships.
|25 January 2024 2.23 p.m.