Who's in Town @ 200 with Prof. Dr. Karen Maex

Why science and society should go hand in hand

08May2017 17:45 - 20:30


In honour of the 200th edition of AUC's 'Who's in Town' seminar series, Prof. dr. Karen Maex, Rector Magnificus of the University of Amsterdam, will present a celebratory lecture titled "Why science and society should go hand in hand".

Why science and society should go hand in hand 

Abstract by Prof. Dr. Karen Maex

The convergence of disciplines like physics, chemistry, electronics, medicine, etc. have led to a boost in these disciplines. With the current body of knowledge, we build materials atom by atom, we design the composition of materials, and as such design ‘new’ characteristics. As a consequence, knowledge is no longer limited to better and a more in-depth understanding of the status quo. It is at the same time creating new artefacts and leads inherently and immediately to change. In this lecture, I would like to give a short overview of this scientific evolution from insights in physics and material science, to Moore’s law and to the related ICT revolution, which we experience today. A reflection on which mechanisms are underlying this evolution is relevant for the future -- not only for the future of science and education, but also for the future of our society.

About Prof. Dr. Karen Maex

Prof. Dr. Karen Maex has been Rector Magnificus of the University of Amsterdam since June 2016. Prior to this, Prof. Dr. Maex was Dean of the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Faculty of Science and Dean of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam faculties of Sciences and Earth & Life Sciences from January 2014 to May 2016. Prof. Dr. Maex has been a professor of Material Physics for Nanoelectronics at the University of Leuven since 1998, and became a full professor there in 2003. Under her tenure, a strong research collaboration was developed with the Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) in Leuven, where she held several research-related executive positions. She has extensive executive experience in the national and international context. In 2008, she became a member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT). As vice-rector of the University of Leuven, she was responsible for the Science & Technology group from 2005 to 2013.  Prof. Dr. Maex's full profile can be viewed here

Who's in Town: an AUC tradition

Since 2010, members of the AUC community have been invited to organise small-scale seminars by inviting prominent and interesting guest speakers who happen to be "in town" for presentations, lectures and debates with members of the AUC, local and wider academic communities. Often working with students as an extension of their interests, previous guests have included prominent academics, members of the corporate world, AUC Scholarship Fund sponsors, artists, activists, diplomats, local entrepreneurs, partner universities, cutting edge researchers, politicians and many, many more.

These lectures and seminars aim to transcend disciplines and offer speakers, students and the wider community a platform to discuss issues in science and society by not only focusing on the "big questions," but also how different perspectives and disciplines are integral in developing a holistic understanding of contemporary debates. 

Seven years since their inception, the lecture series is still going strong. Since Who’s in Town @ 100 in 2014, there have been around 30 independently organised editions per academic year.  In honour of the 200th edition of the Who’s in Town series, AUC has invited Prof. Dr. Karen Maex to deliver a lecture on the relationship between science and society followed by responses from  a panel of representatives with the AUC community. 

Location: Common Room
Amsterdam University College
Science Park 113
1098XG Amsterdam
Convenor: Dr. Forrest Bradbury

Published by  Amsterdam University College