Early-career and experienced researchers gathered at the Health & Technology Community Event at the Lijm en Cultuur Fabriek in Delft on 7 September. Richard Goossens, Convergence programme director, asked participants on this exceptionally hot day: ‘Let’s experience today; what’s boiling at Convergence?’
The break-out sessions allowed researchers to discuss various topics with each other. As Stefan Sleijfer, dean and head of the Erasmus MC Executive Board emphasized: ‘The Convergence is there to create an ecosystem capable of tackling the ‘wicked problems’ of our society.’
Pro-dean of Erasmus MC Maarten Frens talked to attendees about plans for a Convergence master: the Research Master Sustainable Health. Healthcare is the second largest emitter of CO2 in the Netherlands, and the impact of climate change will also be evident among patients.
The start date of the master is September 2026; until then, the colleagues working on the master would like to gather as many ideas as possible. Would you like to share your perspective as a starting student, experienced researcher or lecturer? Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ten Flagship projects pitched their ideas while the audience enjoyed a well-deserved ice cream. Microscopes, cell lines, mental health and wearables; the plans are grand. EUR philosopher Maren Wehrle proved that convergence collaborations can start out small. She talked about meeting neuroscientist Zhenyu Gao at a Convergence speed dating event four years ago. From this first meeting and after many online meetings during the lockdown, the Flagship Integrative Neuromedicine materialised.
Attendees linked up with plenty of new contacts on the warm September day, that became clear after Richard Goossens posed that question to the audience. He joked that going to the sauna together creates bonds for life; after all, this is how the relationship between his wife and him was sealed.
Likewise, Head of the TU Delft’s Board of Governors, Tim van der Hagen, commented at the opening: ‘Look where we began four years ago and are now. That growth is incredibly beautiful to see.’
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