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.

Social innovation and the vegetable garden

In Society
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 07:37

Crime, drugs, unemployment, deterioration and deprivation. Just five years ago, these were the less than flattering labels stuck to the Heerlen neighbourhoods of Meezenbroek, Schaesbergerveld and Palemig. Now, the ‘MSP’ district is considered a role model for social and sustainable innovation. The transformation is thanks in part to SUN, an interregional project that aims to make existing urban neighbourhoods more sustainable. Carijn Beumer and Pieter Valkering joined the project on behalf of Maastricht University.

Annemarie Nelen recently earned a PhD from Maastricht University for her dissertation on part-time employment. One of her findings: toddlers with working mothers perform better in school. “I want my research to be relevant and understandable. It’s rewarding when people outside the academic field are genuinely interested in the results.” Her supervisor was Professor Andries de Grip at Maastricht University’s Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).

Childbirth: Home versus hospital delivery

In Body
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 14:52

The topic of home births always makes for heated discussion. Are we better off giving birth at home, or in hospital? While some women will swear by the hospital birth, others want nothing more than to deliver their child at home. And there are no clear answers from an academic perspective, either. We asked Jan Nijhuis, professor of Obstetrics at Maastricht University, and Raymond de Vries, professor of Midwifery Science at the University of Midwifery Education and Studies (AVMU), for their views.

We need women at the top

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 14:42

The future of the academic world belongs to women. A bold statement? Perhaps. Yet it seems a justified conclusion when looking at the figures: not only do women tend to have higher grades than their male counterparts, but they also outnumber men among university graduates. Paradoxically, however, the female presence in top academic positions is best characterised by its absence. For this reason Cathrien Bruggeman, one of the first female professors at Maastricht University (UM), took the initiative of creating an all-female PhD committee this summer. "I wanted to draw attention to women's underrepresentation in a frivolous manner", she says. "I want young women to get equal opportunities to reach the top."

Sharia council: same pitch, same rules

In Society
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 14:31

The call for a sharia council in the Netherlands has met with much controversy. But if a religious community feels the need for this, what’s the problem?, wondered René de Groot, professor of Comparative Law and International Private Law. “The Netherlands has an exceptionally long tradition in the application of sharia law.”

“Some psychopaths can be treated”

In Mind
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 14:18

Although the claims are preliminary, the first results of his research on patients involuntarily committed for psychiatric treatment (TBS patients) are promising. David Bernstein, professor of Forensic Psychotherapy, may have found a treatment for even the worst cases of psychopathy: schema therapy. “The social benefits could be enormous”, he says.

Every day biking versus cycle racing

In Culture
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 09:05

Last weekend has seen the start of the prestigious Road World Championships in South Limburg. But in contrast to everyday biking, cycle racing has never acquired the status of a national symbol in the Netherlands, according to the historian Manuel Stoffers. "Everyone rides a bike, from Prime Minister Rutte to your average Joe."

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