Establishment of Councils for Physics and Chemistry

Joint meeting of the Council for Physics and Chemistry and the two new Councils (27 November 2019). Credit: Béatrice Bullinga

At the end of 2019 the Council for Physics and Council for Chemistry was set up at the initiative of Bert Meijer and with support of the science deans. These independent Councils aim to represent the interests of the physics and chemistry disciplines in the Netherlands.

Both Physics and Chemistry Councils have a small and decisive Executive Board. The Executive Board of the Dutch Physics Council consists of: Kobus Kuipers (chair), Carlo Beenakker, Patrick Decowski, Hans Hilgenkamp, Britta Redlich, Petra Rudolf and Frank Schuurmans. The Executive Board members of the Dutch Chemistry Council are: Wilhelm Huck (chair), Célia Fonseca Guerra, Kitty Nijmeijer, Bert Poolman, and Marcel Wubbolts. Furthermore, both Councils are composed of representatives from all Dutch universities and institutes with physical / chemical research. Robbert Dijkgraaf and Ben Feringa have agreed to act as ambassadors for the new Councils.

The focus of both Councils is on promoting the interests of physics and chemistry in the Netherlands, both in the field of research and education. The Councils’ primary focus is on the academic sector, meaning the university physics and chemistry departments and the relevant physics and chemistry institutes. The Councils hope for fruitful cooperation with the science deans and relevant institute directors. In addition, active links with complementary bodies such as the learned societies (NNV and KNCV), NWO’s Physics and Chemistry Round Tables and industry. In the upcoming period, the Councils in consultation with the field will formulate a long-term vision for physics and chemistry in the Netherlands.

With the establishment of the new Dutch Physics Council and Dutch Chemistry Council, the former Council for Physics and Chemistry (Raad voor de Natuur- & Scheikunde) ceased to exist. However, the ideas will be continued and, where relevant, the new Councils will act jointly or with other disciplinary Councils / Platforms.