The first remarkable thing about Hans Bosman’s PhD thesis is the subject: The History of the Dutch Cocaine Factory and its Successors. Few people are aware of the fact that in 1900 this factory was established to manufacture cocaine, used as a local anaesthetic. The second thing is that the PhD student himself worked in this factory from 1960 as chief chemist. And finally his age: he is 82.  “Doing this research as a PhD project sharpened my focus, but I primarily did it for the intellectual challenge.”

Scientist or activist?

In Culture
Wednesday, 07 November 2012 10:44
Neutral knowledge providers or engaged scientists: how do ecological experts working for international conservation organisations view themselves? Raf de Bont, a researcher at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, won a Vidi grant this year for his research on how ecological experts have dealt with the tension between science and engagement since 1930.

As a teenager, Marcia Luyten, economist and cultural historian, dreamt of leaving her birthplace Wijnandsrade for Amsterdam, that magical place where everything happens. After her studies at Maastricht University, she finally packed her bags and took off – perhaps for good. And yet she is back. Luyten is currently here doing research for her book The happiness of Limburg. And if that's not enough, she recently began presenting the influential political interview programme Buitenhof on Dutch national television.


As indicated in its proposed performance agreements (‘Voorstel prestatieafspraken 2013-2016’), Maastricht University (UM) aims to be able to give targeted advice to all prospective students by 2015. This is because choosing a study programme that suits you and meets your expectations is not always easy, but it is important – not just for you but also for the faculty. Already, the faculties of Law and Arts & Social Sciences are using a ‘traffic light’ system for prospective students. A questionnaire on their study skills and motivation indicates whether their choice of programme is a sensible one, and issues a greenlight (go ahead!), or a yellow or red one (needs attention!). The advice is not binding. The two faculties each have their own approach to the ‘Matching & Binding’ programme, but are in complete agreement on the preliminary results. 

Poet in academia

In Culture
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 15:04

In late June, Wiel Kusters stepped down from his post as professor of General and Dutch Literature. But, he says, the poet and author Kusters will never retire. We sat down with him to talk academia, language, art, the uninhibited approach and the toppling of reality.


Fans are wrongly stigmatised (video)

In Culture
Friday, 05 October 2012 10:29

Contrary to popular belief, people who are a part of fan culture are not lonely, depressed or escapist. The opposite is true: such people tend to be creative and very social. Nicolle Lamerichs studies the different phenomena of these fan cultures for her PhD research.


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