Press Release: Amsterdam Young Academy announces first 30 members


AMSTERDAM – The two universities in Amsterdam, the UvA and VU Amsterdam have a new platform for talented young scientists: the Amsterdam Young Academy (AYA). The first thirty members were announced today. AYA is intended to become a new, independent platform where talented young scientists from the UvA and VU Amsterdam can meet each other and develop perceptions around science and society. 

The AYA is an initiative of five Amsterdam-based members and former members of The Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences: Kristine Steenbergh (VU), Rens Vliegenthart (UvA), Sjoerd Repping (AMC/UvA), Hilde Geurts (UvA) and Jeroen de Ridder (VU). They felt that, like other cities, Amsterdam deserved its own young academy. This should be a place where the focus is on free intellectual debate and it would have an independent, opinion-forming role. A platform which would concurrently promote not only collaboration between the UvA and VU Amsterdam but also between the two universities and the city of Amsterdam.

AYA will be officially launched on 6 November and Taco Dibbits, General Director of the Rijksmuseum will install the thirty new members. 

‘The enthusiasm all the new members have for science is electrifying! Not only for their own research but also about how science and knowledge in general can be put to use to benefit the city of Amsterdam and its inhabitants. Whether they are conducting research into history, technology or philosophy, every one of the new members has ideas about how their research can be of value to society. As trailblazers, we are immensely proud of this fantastic crop of initial members and we are eager to know what they will do as a group. You’ll be hearing more from them,’ says Sjoerd Repping, Chair of the trailblazers board.

First thirty members
The initial board selected the first thirty members from candidates nominated by the UvA and VU Amsterdam. The faculties had been asked to nominate people with proven talent who had been awarded a PhD within the last eight years. Other important criteria were: patent enthusiasm for science, for interdisciplinarity and for applying science to society. This membership will be expanded by the current members of the Amsterdam branch of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science's Young Academy. The first thirty members are:

UvA:VU Amsterdam:ACTA
· Bianca Buurman· Katinka van der Kooij· Denise Duijster
· Sebastian Altmeyer· Marieke de Hoon· Gizlane Arab
· Thomas Mensink· Yarin Eski
· Helmer Helmers· Anastasia Sergeeva
· Bram Mellink· Pieter Coppens
· Carla Ribeiro· Josine de Winter
· Marit Van Gils· Linda Douw
· Matthijs Brouwer· Silke Muylaert
· Maria Weimer· Rik Peels
· Marci Cottingham· Miriam Wijkman
· Sanne Kruikemeier· Antske Fokkens
· Umberto Olcese· Ronald Kroeze
· Leonie Schmidt· Ivano Malavolta
· Eddie Brummelman

· Shaul Shalvi

About AYA
The Amsterdam Young Academy (AYA) will bring together 30 young talented scientists from VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (UvA). AYA is an independent platform in which excellent researchers and lecturers from different disciplines will meet each other to develop views on science and scientific policy. At the same time, AYA provides opportunities for its members to conduct interdisciplinary research and aims to build bridges between science and society in Amsterdam. 


For more information (also in Dutch) and high res images, please contact the Amsterdam Young Academy office via: or