From the chair of NWO Domain Science - 4

Chair's corner 4: English please!

It is the policy of the board and management of NWO Domain Science that no preference for Dutch-speaking scientists should exist when it comes to inviting members for committees. English is - and where this was not already the case, will be - the working language.

Dear colleagues,

Let me start by stating the obvious, namely that the researchers in the NWO Domain Science have a variety of backgrounds which in many cases lie outside the Netherlands. This goes without saying and is generally recognised as a strength of the field. In practically all research groups English is the working language.

Niek Lopes Cardozo, acting chair of the Board of NWO Domain Science.  Photo: Bram Saeys.Niek Lopes Cardozo, acting chair of the Board of NWO Domain Science. Photo: Bram Saeys.

Is this diversity also reflected in the composition of the ENW advisory bodies and assessment panels? Let me say upfront that from time to time we receive messages that the NWO Domain Science seems to have a preference for Dutch-speaking scientists when it comes to inviting members for these committees. This however, is certainly not the policy.

Clearly, we rely on the expertise and willingness of all of you when putting together the many committees, advisory bodies or assessment panels. And in this, we definitively need all of you, not just the Dutch-speaking. Serving on these committees also has some advantages for the members: it is an excellent way to get to know the various competitions from the inside, or be involved in the shaping of the policy of your field. Moreover, being on such bodies is often, besides a time-consuming task, an interesting and enriching experience. We don't want to exclude anyone from these potential benefits.

Therefore I use this platform to make clear that it is the policy of the board and management of NWO Domain Science that no such bias should exist. In some cases the use of Dutch only is inevitable: e.g. when we have to produce a document for the Minister. For all committees and panels, as well as the policy-oriented meetings that are part of events such as CHAINS and Physics@Veldhoven (the Monday evening meeting) applies that English is - and where this was not already the case, will be - the working language.

 

Niek Lopes Cardozo, acting chair of the Board of NWO Domain Science