Photos of the get together with Alexander Rinnooy Kan
On the 17th of December 2015 a get-together was organised with a lecture by Alexander Rinnooy Kan. The evening started with with drinks and dinner, after which Alexander Rinnooy Kan gave a lecture about his career and his work for the Nederlandse Wetenschapsagenda (NWA). The NWA is an initiative by the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences in an attempt to answer the question: “What are the grand challenges that research should focus on in the coming decennia?” For this cause, a website was opened in which anyone – literally anyone could send in a question one found particularly important. The approach was met with national and international criticism of democratizing the academic decision making process, but the site was a grand success, gathering 12.000 questions from readers of which the government hoped to distill ten research fields. Of these 12.000 questions, 140 were selected, worked out and published in a book and on a website. This approach brought the public and specialists on any area together and allowed for awareness and discussions that otherwise would not have taken place. Despite the initial criticism, other countries have shown interest in the method and are attempting to start their own version of the NWA. The subsequent dream is a European wide research agenda. After a questions session the evening was closed with a final round of drinks. The Honours Community would like to thank Alexander Rinnooy Kan for this informative and inspiring evening.