Opening of the Academic Year

Wageningen University & Research annually celebrates the Opening of the Academic Year in style. Renowned scientists, artists, writers or opinion leaders share their views on current topics related to food, health and the environment. Traditionally, also young Wageningen scientists reflect on the theme. This is a public event.

  • Unifarm
  • Plant Breeding
  • CIAT

2 September 2019: Opening Academic Year 2019-2020

Dialogue: An academic responsibility

Are we still able and willing to listen to other views than our own on the many complex developments in  today’s society? Can we see through the haze of strong convictions and firm beliefs? Are we still willing to approach presented facts with an open mind, or do we increasingly restrict ourselves to the facts that support our own opinion?

Of course, emotions and ideologies always have been strong building blocks for our convictions and judgements, but lately, on many occasions, science and ratio seem to be washed  away by waves of frames. This seems to hamper the introduction of promising solutions and innovations that are urgently needed to resolve or overcome big issues such as food security, climate change or decreasing biodiversity.

Our guest speaker Professor Rik Torfs, former Rector Magnificus at KU Leuven, addressed the need for open dialogue and its relevance for academia. After his keynote the theme was discussed during a special talk show where several young academics shared their views on this important topic.

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