De relatie tussen geloof en wetenschap is een van mijn ‘specialismen’
als wetenschapsjournalist. Ik houd mij ook actief bezig met discussies op dit
terrein, met name binnen christelijke kringen. Mijn insteek is om de wetenschap
in begrijpelijke termen te presenteren (zoals in mijn boek ‘Gevormd uit Sterrenstof’, over
evolutie) en de ethische vragen zo concreet mogelijk te formuleren (zoals in deze lezing
voor het Wetenschappelijk Instituut van de ChristenUnie).
De komende maanden staat er weer het een en ander op het
programma. Op 4 oktober wordt het boek ‘En God zag dat het goed was’
gepresenteerd, aan de VU. Meer
informatie over de presentatie bij Uitgeverij Brevier. Samen met William de
Boer (TU Kampen) en Rik Peels (VU) heb ik de samenstelling en redactie van dit
In deze bundel geven 25 deskundigen (theologen, filosofen,
historici) antwoord op 25 vragen die zijn geformuleerd naar aanleiding van het
boek ‘En de
aarde bracht voort’ (2017) van Gijsbert van den Brink. Die onderzocht daarin
de vraag wat de gevolgen van de evolutietheorie zijn voor fundamentele leerstellingen
van het christendom. De 25 vragen in de nieuwe bundel diepen dat onderzoek
working on a grant proposal at the moment, or writing other research-related
texts? During the month of February, I am offering free editing on 15 abstracts.
I have been
editing dozens of research proposals since 2011, written to different funding
agencies, mainly for University of Groningen scholars. I would like to extend
my client network (which already includes grant proposals Belgium, Germany and
the US), so that’s why I am offering this ‘free trial’.
One of my clients as a science writer is Chemport Europe, the innovative ecosystem for chemicals and materials in the Northern Netherlands. Chemport Europe works towards a green, sustainable chemistry. The chemistry parks in Delfzijl and Emmen are the main locations for this ecosystem.
Chemport Europe launched their new website on 16 December. For this website, I wrote most of the texts in the section Chain of Products: All texts in Feedstocks, Intermediate chemicals, and Polymers and materials. It was fascinating to discover how green chemistry is developing in the northern region of the Netherlands.
This week, three science stories I’ve written were released. The first is on how E. coli has ‘MacGyvered’ a unique mode of membrane transport by combining a selective pore with an active transporter. The resulting protein complex can transport potassium ions against a 10^4 concentration gradient! This discovery was made at the University of Groningen, using their state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscope, and the results were published in Nature Communications. Continue reading →
Of course, as an academic, you know how to write scientific papers. But a grant proposal is a different genre, you don’t just present your results and ideas to your peers, you are trying to sell your plans to a review committee that might include scientists who are not fully familiar with your topic.
Just a quick update on some special activities in the coming weeks… From 27-31 August, I will attend a Lorentz Center workshop in Leiden, entitled ‘Distinguishing Science and Metaphysics in Evolution and Religion‘. Organizers are Gijsbert van den Brink, professor of Science and Religion at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Duur Aanen, associate professor at Wageningen University. An interesting list of participants and I’m proud to have been invited to this workshop,
A few days later, on 3 September, I will be teaching my workshop on grant writing ‘The Art of Scientific Storytelling’ at ETF Leuven (Belgium), as part of their annual Doctoral Colloquium, a week of interaction and academic activities for the Ph.D. students and the doctoral faculty.
Well, not personally, of course. But in the last ERC Consolidator round, a project proposal which I have edited got funded. As all my work is strictly confidential, I can’t tell you which proposal it was – only that it wasn’t from a Dutch University. Continue reading →
Next week, I’ll be presenting my workshop ‘The Art of Scientific Storytelling’ during the Grants Week Groningen (organized by the University of Groningen and the University Medical Center Groningen). If you still haven’t registered there’s some bad news here: both workshops are fully booked, at 30 participants each.
But you might try and ask the organizers for a third workshop later this year!
If you are interested in this workshop, which teaches scientists to look at their grant proposal as a story that is being told, do contact me!
A new feature in the career section of the journal Nature delves into an issue close to my (professional) heart: getting help when writing grant proposals. This longread describes many different options and quotes scientists who have sought help in the writing process. The article makes it clear that getting help is quite normal these days.
This was my favorite line: Other grant professionals stick to editing — but that’s more than just dotting i’s and crossing t’s. Grant editors consider content, clarity, logic and flow. That’s the kind of service I provide! Editing, not on the i’s and t’s, but on content, clarity, logic and flow.
Richard Feynman tries to answer a very simple question about magnets – and in about seven minutes shows the question is everything but simple. Of course, if we all took this approach, science communication would be virtually impossible. We can only do it by assuming our audience shares some basic knowledge with us. This video is a reminder that our assumptions could be wrong, sometimes!