On Tuesday 6 November 2018 the Amsterdam Young Academy was officially launched at the Artis Library. This festive inauguration marked the kick-off of this new and independent platform for talented young scientists from Amsterdam. During the event, which was led by moderator Andrea van Pol, the ambitions of AYA were set out and the first class of AYA was officially installed by Rijksmuseum general director Taco Dibbits.
The inaugural speech by chairman of the founding board, Sjoerd Repping is published fully below.
Inaugural speech Amsterdam Young Academy
Prof.dr. Sjoerd Repping, on behalf of the founding board
Welcome again to this exciting day on behalf of the founding board of the Amsterdam Young Academy consisting of Kristine Steenbergh, Jeroen de Ridder, Hilde Geurts, Rens Vliegenthart and myself. As current and former members of the Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences ourselves, we’ve experienced and witnessed the great things young scientists can achieve and the important voice they have, the voice of the future. This inspired us to form a local, Amsterdam Young Academy. We are thankful to the boards and all deans of both Universities for their full support for our vision and actions. This day marks the culmination of two years of preparation and organization: the official installation of AYA’s first members.
Knowledge is more important than ever; societal challenges are large and trust in institutions is declining. Science can serve as a generator of ideas and a driver of societal improvements. A major reason for founding the Amsterdam Young Academy (AYA) is to show society the impact and importance of science. AYA brings together young, ambitious and excellent researchers from the University of Amsterdam and the Free University. Diverse in their background, but unified in their mission: to improve science and to use it to change society, and in particular the city of Amsterdam, for the better. In the coming years AYA will serve as an independent platform, both within, as well as outside the university walls.
With these lines we introduce the 30 AYA member to society and to you today. You can meet them in the small booklet you’ve just now received. And as you might have already seen, diverse they are … computational linguistics, geriatric care, dental health, Dutch Literature, engineering, European Law, Neuroscience, Criminal Law, Islamic Theology, History, Ethics, Social Resilience, and more. I find it hard to imagine an area or societal challenge to which none of the AYA members could contribute. Each one of them a top-expert in their own field, with unstoppable curiosity. Creative. Out-of-the-box. Inspiring. And with a drive to use their expertise, critical thinking and novel insights to do what’s best for society. Feel free or perhaps even obligated to talk to them, to ask them to contribute. And if not, I am sure they will find you.
They will be part of AYA for the next 4 years and new members will be added to AYA every year. And they will be joined by the Amsterdam members of the national Young Academy.
We are extremely proud and look forward to all the good things they will do in the years to come. And to the AYA members: congratulations, show everyone science and knowledge matter, be independent, critical and creative and most of all: knock yourselves out!
Video AYA launch
This is what happened during the AYA launch on November 6th.