The Young Academy welcomes ten new members

8 December 2020

The Young Academy is welcoming ten new members! The researchers in question work in a variety of disciplines, have been selected for their scientific achievements, and received their doctorates less than ten years ago.

They will be officially installed as members on 23 March 2021. During their five year membership, they will be supporting projects in the fields of science, science policy and science communication.

The new members are:

Dr Marjolijn Bol (Art History, University of Utrecht)

Why do artists want to make objects that can stand the test of time? And why do their patrons want to own these kinds of objects? Marjolijn Bol intends to find answers to these questions in her current research into the history of durability in art. She studies the interdependence between the history of art and the history of knowledge, following the story of the creative exploration of materials and the process of making. At The Young Academy, she would like to work on promoting cross-disciplinary research and involving a wider public in science.

Dr Shari Boodts (History, Radboud University)

With her research into text transmission and manipulation in medieval manuscripts, Shari Boodts aims to build bridges: between antiquity and the Middle Ages, between classical philology and reception studies, and between heritage institutions and the academic context. She is currently leading two research projects on the transmission of late-antique sermons and sermon collections in medieval manuscripts. Her focus is on identifying and interpreting conscious and unconscious strategies of knowledge transfer and perception formation. At The Young Academy, she will be arguing for more opportunities for team science, including through flexible research funding. She also wants to help to effect a change in mentality among academics: not an individual race to the top, but "we're in this together".

Dr Eddie Brummelman (Educational Theory, University of Amsterdam)

Eddie Brummelman studies the development of self-esteem in children and has shown that excessive praise can lead to narcissism. His current research focuses on the role of self-esteem in the emergence of inequality. Brummelman is active both nationally and internationally in promoting his research in society. At The Young Academy, he would like to work towards a science policy in which everyone has an equal chance to succeed, regardless of gender, migration background or socio-economic background. This calls for a review of the policy of excellence. He also wants to forge more links between science and society, resulting in science for everyone and of everyone.

Dr Sanli Faez (Physics, Nanotechnology, University of Utrecht)

Physicist Sanli Faez studies the movement of ions and electrons and has developed an optical microscopy method that can accurately measure the rapid movement of small nanoparticles. Using this method, he aims to measure reactions at the extreme limit of a single molecule. In 2019 he and his team demonstrated that it is even possible to see the collections of ions around an electrically charged nanoparticle under a microscope. This development makes it possible to measure small ion currents. Sanli Faez is one of the founders of the Climate Helpdesk, a website where scientists answer questions from the public about climate change. At The Young Academy, he would like to help develop a science policy that meets the needs of the circular society.

Prof. Carolien van Ham (Political Science, Radboud University)

Political scientist Carolien van Ham conducts research into the different facets of democracy: from renewal to degeneration. She also focuses on democratic legitimacy and political representation and studies electoral fraud. In Nijmegen she leads the Empirical Political Science research group and, together with fellow scientists from various disciplines, she is developing a new research centre on Sustainable Democracy. She likes to participate in the social debate, mainly through popular science publications and media appearances. At The Young Academy, Van Ham would like to focus on interdisciplinary work, collaboration with the arts, and internationalisation.

Dr Chiel van Heerwaarden (Meteorology, Wageningen University & Research)

The subject of Chiel Van Heerwaarden's research was already popular with 17th-century painters: the patterns of light and shade that clouds create in the landscape. Research into these patterns may reduce uncertainty in assessing climate change and may lead to better predictions for the generation of solar energy. For his research Van Heerwaarden uses computer simulations and field measurements for which he develops some of the software himself. He is an advocate of open source software for scientific research, because it furthers scientific transparency and progress. Van Heerwaarden is concerned about the massive growth in the number of scientific publications and would like to help change policy within The Young Academy to one that puts quality before quantity in the assessment of scientists.

Dr Lizza Hendriks (Medicine, Maastricht UMC+/Maastricht University)

Lizza Hendriks specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, with special attention to metastases in the brain. It is her ambition to develop personalised therapy, with a focus on prevention and optimal treatment while maintaining brain function. To achieve this, she employs immunotherapy, targeted therapy and radiotherapy, including the use of advanced analysis techniques such as radiomics. At The Young Academy, she would like to work on early career policy in order to get young people interested and keep them motivated for a career in research. She also intends to dedicate herself to a new recognition and appreciation of scientists, with a focus on policy for research physicians.

Dr Jeroen Leijten (Biomedical Technology, University of Twente)

At the University of Twente, bio-engineer Jeroen Leijten investigates ways of improving the functioning of natural and cultured organs. He develops methods, strategies and materials to recreate the natural structures found in our living tissues. He is looking for synergistic interactions between cell biology, biomaterials science and microtechnology. As a member of The Young Academy, Leijten intends to appeal for a rebalancing of scientific funding policy in order to encourage curiosity-driven research.

Dr Cynthia Liem (Artificial Intelligence, TU Delft)

Cynthia Liem is both a computer scientist and a pianist. She works on issues of information filtering in search engines and recommendation systems and on overarching issues of result validation and validity. Her multidisciplinary research contributes to the reliability of artificial intelligence applications and helps people gain new insights and develop broader perspectives. At The Young Academy, she would like to work towards improving digital literacy and to making the nuances behind data-driven science and decision-making more accessible to different disciplines and a wider audience.

Prof. Michel Vols (Law, University of Groningen)

Lawyer Michel Vols examines the delicate balance between effectively tackling public order disturbances and respect for human rights. He specialises in nuisance, slumlording, drug crime, motorcycle gangs and sex offenders. Over the next few years, Vols will be using artificial intelligence to analyse legal big data in order to find patterns and determinants within legal decision-making on evictions. Vols likes to involve the public in his research: he launched www.overlastadvies.nl, where everyone can get free and tailor-made legal advice. At The Young Academy, Vols wants to bring people from neighbourhoods with social, physical and economic problems into contact with scientists.

About The Young Academy

The Young Academy is a dynamic and innovative platform of researchers from different disciplines with outspoken views about science and scholarship and the related policy. The Young Academy organises inspiring activities for various target groups focusing on interdisciplinarity, science policy and the interface between science and society. At the time of appointment, the fifty members had received their doctorates less than ten years before. Together, these researchers represent a broad spectrum of scientific and scholarly disciplines and they work at Dutch universities and a large number of research institutes. Their membership lasts five years, with ten members departing and joining each year. The Young Academy is part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.