Bert Weckhuysen steps down as chair of the Chemistry Round Table

9 October 2019

With effect from 1 August, Prof. Bert Weckhuysen (Utrecht University) has resigned as chair of the Dutch Research Council’s Chemistry Round Table. Prof. Weckhuysen’s decision was prompted by the need to ensure his independence as chair of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences’ (KNAW) Weckhuysen Committee. This autumn, that committee will seek to define the ideal relationship between NWO’s talent oriented funding, thematically oriented programmes, and open competitions. Prof. Patricia Dankers (Eindhoven University of Technology) will act as interim chair until a new chair for the Chemistry Round Table can be appointed.

Prof. Bert WeckhuysenProf. Bert Weckhuysen

Earlier this year, the KNAW invited Prof. Weckhuysen to become chair of the “Optimale Verhouding Talent, Thematische en Vrije Onderzoeksprogramma’s NWO” (Ideal Relationship for NWO’s Talent, Thematic and Free Research Programmes) committee, which was established at the suggestion of the Minister of Education, Culture and Science. “I have come to the conclusion that it is now more important than ever to ensure that my independence as chair of the KNAW’s committee cannot be called into question,” says Bert Weckhuysen. “Accordingly, at my own request, the NWO Domain Science board has relieved me of my role as chair of the Chemistry Round Table. This means that I will permanently be stepping down as chair of that advisory round table.”

Prof. Weckhuysen looks back on his time in that role with a sense of satisfaction. “During my time as chair, it was an honour and pleasure to help shape the Chemistry Round Table and the field of chemistry in the Netherlands. I really enjoyed working with researchers on the ground, with the members of the advisory round table, with NWO staff, and with the NWO Domain Science board.” The board would like to thank Bert Weckhuysen for his unstinting commitment to the Chemistry Round Table and to the NWO Domain Science. We also wish him every success in his role as chair of the KNAW committee.

In the meantime, the Chemistry Round Table’s current deputy chair, Prof. Patricia Dankers, will act as interim chair. This will provide sufficient time for a new chair to be selected, by means of the applicable procedures and in consultation with the Chemistry Round Table.

Contact details for the secretaries of the Chemistry Round Table:
Mark Schmets, t. +31 (0) 70 344 05 37, cell. +31 (0) 6 30 36 92 39
Marcel Hoek, t. +31 30 600 13 82, cell +31 6 25 43 81 53

Source: NWO