Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About usNews and EventsNews

Magazine articles, january - july 2019

Whatever the weather brings this summer, you can peacefully enjoy perusing all of our magazine articles again from January to July 2019. In each article, a professor or researcher at the UG tells us about their field of study. After all, whether you're staying in the Netherlands or travelling abroad, science knows no borders.

Koen Bandsma on red bike mat
Koen Bandsma on red bike mat

Tackling bicycle chaos through nudging

Healthy food displayed at eye height, electronic signs showing smiley faces, red carpets to ward off bikes. We are all being ‘nudged’ on a regular basis, encouraged to behave in a particular way. Koen Bandsma is researching how this works on the street. He presents a lesson in nudging through five examples.
Read full story

Dick Jager at Campus Zernike
Dick Jager at Campus Zernike

Full speed ahead towards a green university

Dick Jager isn’t one to give up easily. Since the late 1990s, he has been working to make the University of Groningen more sustainable. His journey has been a struggle, with the road often peppered with obstacles. But now things are going his way. Sustainability is a high priority in the University’s vision and new strategic plan for 2020. He’s gone from flogging a dead horse to racing ahead on a super-fast e-bike.
Read full story

Clapskate
Clapskate

From fish jaws to patented leg prothesis

Movement scientist and biophysicist Bert Otten continues to be amazed and inspired by the relationship between technology and life around him. The scientist and inventor in him – and not forgetting the photographer and the cyclist – are reaping the rewards.
Read full story

Biomacs: Patrick van Rijn & Menno de Jong
Biomacs: Patrick van Rijn & Menno de Jong

BioMACS aims to revolutionise the land of prosthetics

BioMACS can do in three days what now takes three years: testing how different human cells react to the materials of prostheses. This invention can have far-reaching consequences. Fewer infections, fewer rejection symptoms, less problematic scar tissue. In short: better cooperation between prosthesis and body.
Read full story

Suzanne Schot
Suzanne Schot

What is true? Establishing the truth in international criminal law

Lawyer Suzanne Schot has scrutinized thousands of pages of literal transcripts of cases that were heard in the International Criminal Court and the Yugoslavia Tribunal, searching for potential distortions of truth in the testimony given by witnesses and the accused. Where do these ‘deviations from the truth’ come from, and what are the implications in terms of establishing the truth?
Read full story

Hanneke Muthert
Hanneke Muthert

Spiritual care in the earthquake zone

Loss and mourning have always been interesting to Hanneke Muthert. The topic is keeping her busy once again as she researches spiritual guidance in the event of disasters, including those in the Groningen earthquake zone. She recently organized a number of events about this topic with the Centre for Religion, Health and Wellbeing at the Faculty of Theology and Religious studies.
Read full story

Theo Meder
Theo Meder

Folktales, the barometers of society

Urban legends, legends, fairy tales and jokes: Professor of Folktales and Narrative Culture Theo Meder knows all about them. But next to studying old folktales, he is also look ing for new histories.
Read full story

Geodienst
Geodienst

Photo report: the map magician

Mad about maps – that is how Leon van der Meulen describes himself. But then, who isn’t? While almost everyone enjoys looking at (old) maps, Van der Meulen is among the happy few that actually get to work with them. At the UG Geodienst, he and his colleagues create maps in support of research, based on open geographical sources.

Read full story

Steffie van der Steen
Steffie van der Steen

A four-legged therapist

Cuddling kittens to combat stress, keeping animals in nursing homes to alleviate loneliness, reading to dogs projects, care farms – the use of animals in healthcare is booming, and the practical results are positive. The theoretical underpinning of those results is lagging, however, says Steffie van der Steen, UG researcher in the department of Pedagogical and Educational Sciences. She is about to embark on a large three-year project that seeks to link theory and practice.
Read full story

Ad Van Liempt at Westerbork
Ad Van Liempt at Westerbork

The tracks of a camp commander

From Westerbork camp they left, facing death: trains filled with Jewish children, women and men, on their way to Auschwitz, Sobibor or Theresienstadt. One train with 1,000 to 3,000 people on it every Tuesday. The person responsible: camp commander Albert Gemmeker. The same Gemmeker who was known as a decent man and was released after six years of imprisonment. Journalist and TV producer Ad van Liempt describes in his biography how this charming yet evil man got away with his actions, but lived in fear of new punishment every day for years in Germany.
Read full story

Linda Steg
Linda Steg

Doing nothing against climate change also has consequences

Do you cycle or take the train instead of going by car, or do you recycle much? If so, this means that you are being environmentally friendly, and it should be emphasized more. This was pointed out by Linda Steg, environmental psychologist at the UG. Steg studies people’s motivations for displaying sustainable behaviour. ‘If you give people the sense that their behaviour is sustainable, it becomes part of their identity and they will become more sustainable in other areas, too.’
Read full story

Eize Stamhuis
Eize Stamhuis

From paperclip to patent

How is it possible that an albatross doesn’t crash and die when it lands? And how come its large wings don’t break due to air resistance? That is what you would expect, according to the laws of aerodynamics. However, Professor Eize Stamhuis has discovered that albatrosses land safely by making wiggly wing movements. What is more, he sees a possible application of this oscillation technique to make the blades of wind turbines more efficient. To protect his intellectual property (IP), he has applied for a patent. He has also attracted interest from industries working on aerodynamics. So, how does he work?
Read full story

Jeff de Hosson
Jeff de Hosson

Still going strong after four decades

On 29 March, the Zernike Institute of Advanced Materials held a farewell symposium in honour of Professor of Applied Physics Jeff De Hosson. De Hosson officially retired in late 2018, but he is not yet ready to say goodbye. He is full of new ideas for research and development . '29 March was the 100th birthday of Jan Francken, my predecessor', he points out.
Read full story

Clara Mulder
Clara Mulder

Home is where the family lives

Eight years ago, ‘Professor of Moving’ Clara Mulder followed her heart and moved from Amsterdam to Groningen. A typical case of scientific theory being put into practice. ‘I research subjects that affect everyone at some point in their life: relationships, family, splitting up, moving, family formation.’ A frank discussion about the remarkable way her work is intertwined with her life, in which Mulder also debunks a popular myth.
Read full story

Caspar van den Berg
Caspar van den Berg

‘Sense of loss drives voting behaviour’

‘Everybody here loves that academia has returned to Friesland. We teach, carry out research and think along about solutions to problems that are relevant for Friesland,’ says Caspar van den Berg, Professor of Global and Local Governance at the UG Campus Fryslân. Van den Berg knows the region and can comment on political developments from both a theoretical and practical angle.
Read full story

Prothese
Prothese

Living without an arm

‘The fact that people can still be part of things following an arm or leg amputation, or with another disability – that’s what matters to us as rehabilitation specialists,’ says Corry van der Sluis. She is the only professor of rehabilitation medicine in the Netherlands who specializes in hand and arm protheses. She adds quite pragmatically: ‘And sometimes a hook is simply a better solution than a sophisticated robotic arm.’
Read full story

Students

Lonely, but not miserable

Our society is ageing rapidly, and there is a growing concern about loneliness among older people. It’s a sensitive subject, however − and we still haven’t found the best way to tackle the problem.
Read full story

Steve Mason
Steve Mason

History, human possibility - and cocaine

He may be a revered researcher, honoured with a three-day international conference centred around his latest book, and featuring in a television miniseries, yet Steve Mason is anything but self-satisfied. On the contrary, this professor of Ancient Mediterranean Religions and Cultures proclaims he is not proud of anything. ‘I feel like an impostor half the time because I don’t know anything, at least not anything tangible.’
Read full story

Marleen Jansen
Marleen Jansen

Marleen Janssen gives the deafblind a voice

Japan, Brazil, Austria, Australia, Germany, Georgia – these are all countries that Marleen Janssen has visited recently or will soon visit. As the only professor in the world who focuses on communication with deafblind people, she has no other option: her contacts live and work all over the world.
Read full story

Klaske Glashouwer
Klaske Glashouwer

Conducting research also benefits healthcare practice

Healthcare psychologist and cognitive behavioural therapist Klaske Glashouwer is a science-practitioner. At mental-health service provider Accare, she treats children and young people with eating disorders and coordinates research. At the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences she researches the role of body image in anorexia nervosa. Linking research and practice is central to her work.
Read full story

Leather shoe

Photo report: Finds from a Mysterious Wreck

Leather shoes, playing pieces from a draughtboard, pewter spoons and bowls, ammunition for cannons and muskets, a lady’s glove, knitted caps, jugs containing Spanish olives, inkwells, salt cellars — these are just a few of the enormous number of diverse objects retrieved from the wreck of an English merchant vessel that sank between 1715 and 1725.
Read full story

Maarten Loonen (Photo: Daniel Houben)
Maarten Loonen (Photo: Daniel Houben)

Maarten Loonen’s climate change grief

For many years now, Maarten Loonen has seen first-hand how the climate has changed on Spitsbergen. He can talk for hours about geese, reindeer, glaciers and the immeasurable, still undiscovered nature on the Norwegian island. His main concern, though, is the ticking of the climate clock.
Read full story

Hiske van Duinen
Hiske van Duinen

A nip in the air

Through the cold, against the wind, I cycle through the centre of Groningen. I’ve forgotten my gloves and my hands quickly cool down. My autonomic nervous system receives the message that I am cold and takes action: the blood vessels in my skin constrict and my sweat glands are deactivated. My head and torso are warm and protected.

Not that I’m aware of any of this. Hiske van Duinen, a physiologist at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Groningen, explains in precise detail what happens in the body of warm-blooded animals, including humans, when they are exposed to cold.
Read full story

Erik Dietzenbacher
Erik Dietzenbacher

Our insatiable appetite for consumption is driving up global CO2 emissions

Changes in the structure of international trade have had little effect on the growth in global CO2 emissions. That is the conclusion of Professor Erik Dietzenbacher, based on data from the World Input-Output Database (WIOD) for the period 1995-2008.  The main perpetrators are you and I, the ones who keep on buying more products.
Read full story

Gijsbert Vonk
Gijsbert Vonk

Protecting the most vulnerable

Gijs Vonk stands up for those living on the fringes of society. Tenacious, he enters the social debate with enthusiasm. His work and practice have earned him a nomination for the national Huibregtsen Prize, but also accusations of being an activist. A portrait of the Professor in Social Security Law, who cannot accept that the law sometimes leads to poverty.
Read full story

Tammo Bijmolt
Tammo Bijmolt

Loyalty is at the heart of the matter

Selling as much detergent and ketchup as possible is no longer the holy grail in marketing, says Professor Tammo Bijmolt. He is involved, for example, in a ‘saving program’ that stimulates medication compliance and healthy behavior among cardiovascular patients. ‘This is research that is improving the world around us. I am not saying that all my studies are, but some of them really have immediate social value.’
Read full story

Mathijs Sanders
Mathijs Sanders

Lighting the flame for literature

For Mathijs Sanders, literature and life are synonymous. He lives with it and for it and shares his love of it with anyone who will listen. As Professor of Modern Dutch Literature, he even makes his living from it. He considers himself fortunate. ‘There is nothing I would rather do.’
Read full story

Last modified:18 July 2019 2.25 p.m.
printView this page in: Nederlands