Science connects us all

WIAS magazine - Winter edition 2021
Word from the board

During covid times connecting with each other has become more difficult. This winter edition aims to connect us all through science. Enjoy reading the articles and please get in touch if you want to connect! Below the board members reflect on what connecting means to them.

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Kaylee: It is often said that we are connected to every person in the world through six degrees of separation and that has me thinking: What would the WIAS degrees of separation be? I could try to find out through some type of complicated equation, but I think even without that, the answer probably lies between 1 and 2 – you either know the other person or someone you know does. To me that is one of the underestimated charms of Wageningen in general, even after 8,5 years here (I know it is quite long). What I like about it is not only connecting to many people, but also how helpful everyone is. To be fair, connecting has been more challenging in the online world. We all have been in a situation with a questionable internet connection and have become frozen with our most flattering facial expression on someone else’s screen. All the more reason to really appreciate our bump-ins at the coffee machine, reaching out to others, having an old-fashioned phone call, and sharing our research on platforms such as this magazine. All authors have written about their science and passion, so don’t be shy and connect! Please enjoy this second edition of WIAS magazine and let’s make our degrees of separation as small as possible by forging strong connections through science.  

Corrie: The central connection we have as early researchers are the challenges and achievements we experience with our work. Whether you are trying to understand how your feed composition is affecting the gut of animals, conducting surveys with farmers or performing endless repetitions in a windowless lab, we need motivation to keep going.  
This motivation comes in different shapes and forms, but it really comes from being able to get together. To sympathise, to rant, cry, scream, plan, celebrate, laugh and understand is what connects us as scientists within WIAS and globally. Unfortunately, these are also the things which have been stripped away the last two years. We were unable to share a lab bench or office with an experienced colleague where the answer to a question was less than a meter away. It was not possible to come together at conferences to share our work with each other, to form global collaborations or even new friendships.
In this challenging world of research, where it can sometimes feel like everything is against you, being able to share failures and achievements with colleagues becomes crucial to stay motivated and to keep going. The WIAS magazine is integral to the science that connects us all, now during this pandemic and beyond. Please enjoy this latest edition of the WIAS magazine! 

Annemarieke: For me connecting with others is also about celebrating together. One of the difficult things during covid times was finding ways to celebrate, whether it was a birthday, an accepted conference submission, a PhD defence, or the publication of the WIAS magazine. In this edition we celebrate the research done on the immune system of piglets, mucosal vaccination of fish, and with cats and their digestion. We also have an article about the impact research can have when connecting with local farmers in Bangladesh. In addition to science, we also include articles that connect us with the WIAS Associated PhD Students committee and the sport Lacrosse. 

We look forward to connecting with many of you at the WIAS conference in February. And a heads up: the deadline for the next edition is March 28th, 2022. 


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