Brain researcher Dr Marie-José van Tol, assistant professor of Neuroscience at the UG/UMCG, joined The Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in 2019. She has now been appointed as the new chair of the national board of The Young Academy. Her chairmanship will begin in April 2022.
Dr Marie-José van Tol is exploring the role of the brain and cognition in the development and continuation of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, and specific symptoms, such as suicidal tendencies. Van Tol is also a keen proponent of involving the general public in science and research. As such, under the rubric of Marvelous Mind and together with her research institute, she is organizing film evenings on neuroscience at Forum Groningen and is involved in organizing the Hersenolympiade (‘Brain Olympics’) at secondary schools. Van Tol is the chair of the internationalization track of The Young Academy and is involved in the working group on politics and science. She is also a member of the board of the Young Academies Science Advice Structure (YASAS).
Van Tol is delighted with her new position as chair of TYA. ‘I think it’s wonderful and a great honour that I have been elected the new chair of The Young Academy. I will do my very best to be a worthy successor to my excellent predecessors, and I look forward to the coming years. Together with the management, the members, and local and international young academies, I want to take advantage of the unique possibilities to make science even more wonderful. Next to that, there are specific topics on which we will continue to work. For example, TYA advocates equal rights and duties for all scientists under the slogan of “Everyone’s a professor”, starting from the position of Assistant Professor. Some of the other things we will focus on are a smarter academic year in order to lower the workload for staff and students and increased cooperation with the Caribbean part of the kingdom. We will also continue to insist on improved funding for science and scientific education in the Netherlands.’
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