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Young Academy Groningen welcomes seven new members

13 March 2018

The Young Academy Groningen (YAG) has appointed seven new members from diverse disciplines at the University of Groningen. Dr. Laura Bringmann, dr. Jan Willem Bolderdijk, dr. Nanna Hilton, dr. Tina Kretschmer, dr. Jocelien Olivier, dr. Saskia Peels and dr. Ward Rauws were selected by a committee. The new members will be officially installed in a ceremony on the evening of 1 October.

The Young Academy Groningen is a club for the University’s most talented, enthusiastic and ambitious young researchers. Its members come from all disciplines and have a passion for science and an interest in science policy, interdisciplinarity, diversity, internationalization, outreach, leadership and career development in academia. Chair of the YAG Marie-José van Tol: “We were very happy to see many excellent researchers apply this year for Young Academy Groningen Membership and are thrilled to now welcome these selected seven new enthusiastic members. Together with our current members, we now even better represent our broad UofG and look forward to stimulate dialogue on matters of policy and interdisciplinary research within academia and tell the world what is going on within our beautiful university.”

Dr. Laura Bringmann
Dr. Laura Bringmann

Dr. Laura Bringmann  (Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences)

My research topics range from philosophical issues in statistics and psychology to developing better person-specific treatments in psychiatry. This interdisciplinarity will be nourished at the YAG were young researchers form different disciplines all over the university fruitfully interact. What is close to my heart is to work towards a research environment at the RUG and in the rest of the Netherlands where there is less pressure to get grants (e.g, many small grants instead of a few big ones, depending on the discipline). I would also like to set up interdisciplinary crowdsourcing research projects where scientists from different fields analyze the same data, and to organize statistically oriented symposia aimed at informing and inspiring the general public to critically approach research results.

Dr. Jan Willem Bolderdijk
Dr. Jan Willem Bolderdijk

Dr. Jan Willem Bolderdijk (Faculty of Economics and Business)

Many of the grand issues facing society today – climate change, overconsumption, depletion of natural resources – are at their root a behavioral problem. We know what to do (e.g., drastically reduce carbon emissions) and have to tools to accomplish it (e.g., energy-neutral technologies, radical consumer policies). However, as long as individual consumers fail to support or adopt such changes, these issues will remain unsolved. My research aims to tackle this by uncovering the psychological barriers preventing change. As a YAG member, I will primarily focus on dissemination: making scientific knowledge accessible and understandable to society at large, and in particular to children. By joining the YAG, I hope to gain access to a network of enthusiastic researchers from other fields who share my passion for dissemination.

Dr. Nanna Hilton
Dr. Nanna Hilton

Dr. Nanna Hilton (Faculty of Arts)

My research is centered on language variation and change in the multilingual north of the Netherlands. Theoretically, my research places itself within the field of sociolinguistics and aims to discover how and why languages vary and change. I'm excited to join the YAG as I see it as an opportunity to create more public engagement projects with my peers for the local community. In the short term I'd like to get involved in "Gronings" landscape and culture with colleagues in the YAG and local institutions. I think the University could be more vocal about the earthquake crisis and that we can distribute our knowledge about local history and language in ways that keeps up a healthy and prosperous local community.

Dr. Tina Kretschmer
Dr. Tina Kretschmer

Dr. Tina Kretschmer (Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences)

My research focuses on social development in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, where I specifically study how relationships with friends, classmates, and other same-age peers affect young people's health and well-being and relationships they have with others later on. A new avenue I am currently starting up is research into intergenerational processes, that is, I will study whether experiences with close others affect social development of one's own children. What I am most enthusiastic about in terms of joining the YAG is that it allows me to pause in my daily tracks of research, teaching, and administrative tasks and spend time thinking about the bigger picture of science and the role of the university for society, both locally as well as internationally. Thus, what I really hope to work on as a member of YAG is to build bridges between this very internationally-minded university and the local, regional, and national community in which it is embedded.

Dr. Jocelien Olivier
Dr. Jocelien Olivier

Dr. Jocelien Olivier (Faculty of Science and Engineering )

I am an Assistant Professor in the developmental neuroscience. My animal research is focused on how events early in life can cause psychopathology later in life. For that I study the effects of antidepressant use during pregnancy on the offspring, as well as interactions between genes and environment. I am particular enthusiastic about joining the YAG because it provides an inspiring and interdisciplinary environment which is critically important to generate new and exciting perspectives. I would like to contribute to the YAG by providing a platform to disseminate research to the society, but also to move the discussion and implementation of measures related to diversity further.

Dr. Saskia Peels
Dr. Saskia Peels

Dr. Saskia Peels (Faculty of Arts)

I am a classicist and linguist with a research focus on Ancient Greek religion. I have just started with an NWO VENI project, on ways in which worshippers in Classical Greece conceptualized and dealt with the divine (and divine plurality) in their daily lives. I hope to shed new light on this topic by using a linguistic methodology. I am highly excited to be joining this professional network. I very much look forward to interacting with such a diverse group of academic peers: I have no doubt that these exchanges will stimulate new ways of thinking about research and hopefully result in new, truly interdisciplinary collaborations. I also think that YAG membership will provide a platform that can help me to make specific contributions to academic life in Groningen. One thing I would like to do as a YAG member is contributing to women’s empowerment within our university and in Dutch academia more generally.

Dr. Ward Rauws
Dr. Ward Rauws

Dr. Ward Rauws (Faculty of Spatial Sciences)

It is with great enthusiasm that I join the Young Academy Groningen as its mission to better connect academia and society strongly resonates with my personal drive as academic. The Young Academy Groningen provides an excellent platform and network for developing new ways to address major societal challenges in close collaboration with affected communities and to establish interdisciplinary research teams for working out solutions for and with these communities. Having a background in urban and regional planning, I think for instance of making our cities climate change-proof, improving health and vitality in neighbourhoods, securing liveability in declining rural areas. As a member of Young Academy Groningen I want to contribute, amongst other things, to the development of research and teaching methods which foster joint learning processes between researches, students and citizens. I am much looking forward to boost the science-society dialogue!

Last modified:12 March 2020 9.24 p.m.
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