An international team of astronomers, including Tiffany Meshkat and Matthew Kenworthy from Leiden University, have discovered a gigantic exoplanet. The planet revolves around its star at nearly 650 times the distance between the earth and the sun, which makes this planet a record-holder. The researchers are publishing their discovery in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, who died on 5 december 2013, received an honorary doctorate from Leiden University in 1999. Mandela’s response was modest: ‘It is not a personal achievement. It is a tribute to all those who emerged from underground, from prison, from exile...’
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Madiba, honorary doctor of Leiden university, was one of the iconic politicians of the late twentieth century. Mandela has died at the age of 95. Analysis by Robert Ross, Professor in African history.
Eight organisations from Leiden, including Leiden University, have joined forces to share their knowledge of the world with other interested people. The launch of LeidenGlobal took place on 27 November 2013.
On 3 December, the municipality of Leiden submitted its candidacy for the title of ‘iCapital’, Innovation Capital of Europe. This title will go to the city with the best innovation climate, bringing together citizens, government organisations, educational institutions and the corporate world.
Emotional child abuse has negative effects on cognition and the structure and functioning of the brain, as Leiden PhD-student Anne-Laura van Harmelen has discovered. Her PhD defence is on 10th of December.
Leiden biologists Freek Vonk and Michael Richardson have sequenced the first two snake genomes, of the king cobra and the tiger python. They published their findings on 2 December in two articles in leading journal PNAS.
People who exercise regularly are better at creative thinking. This is the outcome of research by Leiden cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato. She published an article on this subject in the scientific magazine Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
What can we learn from Cleveringa’s courageous protest speech? ‘Without imagination and a strong community, people do not stand up for one another,' says Cleveringa Professor Michael Ignatieff in his lecture on 26 November.
Leiden archaeologist Corinne Hofman has been awarded the Merian Prize intended to stimulate and motivate women researchers. The prize will be presented on 21 November. The first Merian Prize, in 2009, was also awarded to a Leiden researcher, psychologist Naomi Ellemers. What does one do with 50,000 euros?
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death across the world. Professor Johan Kuiper of Leiden University carries out research to develop a vaccine for arteriosclerosis, which is the main cause of cardiovascular diseases. With the aid of a European research grant of six million euros he is set to work together with European medical centres and companies to develop and subsequently test the vaccine in a clinical trial.
A meet & greet in Leiden's town hall with Mayor Henri Lenferink, and a valuable certificate. This is how Leiden University and the municipality welcomed these new international students and PhD candidates to Leiden. The students were pleasantly surprised: 'Our mayor is much more formal.'
Rheumatologist Smolen and chemical biologist Waldmann awarded honorary doctorates by Leiden University
At the next Dies Natalis, on 7 February 2014, Austrian rheumatologist Josef Smolen and German chemical biologist Herbert Waldmann will both be awarded an honorary doctorate from Leiden University. Both are influential figures in the field of healthcare.
Is an EU official allowed to wear a headscarf or turban? That depends on the country. Titia Loenen, Leiden Professor of Human Rights and Diversity, pleads for more equal rights in Europe. And for ‘polder’-style solutions to sensitive issues. Inaugural lecture 15 November.
Students, administrators and staff members attended the Leiden symposium on ‘Excellence through diversity’ on Thursday 7 November. Lectures, speed-dating and workshops exemplified the essential contribution of diversity and inclusivity to science. ‘We are ready to meet the challenge of assessing individuals objectively so that we don’t let talent go to waste.’
Ideas galore to stimulate contact between Dutch and international students. Three proposals were awarded a prize on 7 November 2013. The winners will be offered a contribution from the Van Bergen Fund to carry out their plans.
Astronomer Ignas Snellen investigates the atmospheres of exoplanets, with the final goal of finding signs of life. This is becoming easier thanks to the ever more effective measuring methods of his research group. ‘Within ten years it’s going to get really exciting.’ Inaugural lecture on 8 November.
On 26 November 1940 Professor Cleveringa held his courageous speech protesting against the dismissal of his Jewish colleague, Professor Meijers. Cleveringa was arrested and the university was closed. Every year the university honours Cleveringa with a chair and meetings throughout the world.
Leiden heritage expert Sjoerd van der Linde is carrying out research on the heritage of the Caribbean region. This research forms part of the international Nexus 1492 project on the consequences of colonisation for the Americas. ‘We first have to find out what the local population wants.'
More than fifty researchers are working together to describe the colonisation of the Americas from the Amerindian perspective. In November they will be meeting for the first time, in Leiden. How is Corinne Hofman, Leiden Professor of Archaeology managing the international megaproject Nexus 1492?