“You don’t need to be in Harvard or MIT to win a Nobel Prize”
Nobel Prize winner prof. Ben Feringa was the guest of honour yesterday at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus during the Collegetour. During this event it became very apparent that Ben Feringa is a man with a passion for science, who loves his students but still has his feet firmly planted on the ground.
Prof. Feringa gave a presentation at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus for scientist titled: "Exploring beyond the chemical frontiers". It is not everyday that a Nobel Prize-winner visits and the fact that the lecturehall was filled to the brim underlines the uniqueness of this event.
After the lecture Prof. Feringa sat down in the gym for a Collegetour event. During this the professor talked about his professional, but also his personal life His extraordinary passion for science and his students was an inspiration for the young academics in the room. who got the chance to ask the professor a couple of questions. These questions ranged from career advice to curiosity into his personal life. (who knew this Nobel Prize-winner was a avid ice-skater, who finished in the 'elfstedentocht' and is a true family man).
He stressed the fact multiple times that to become a successful scientist you don't need to sacrifice all of your free time to science. It is also important to take it easy once in a while, or to put it in his words 'you need balance in your life'. He also underlined that groundbreaking science is rooted in innovative ideas and not the prestige of your university: 'to win a Nobel Prize, you don't need to be in Harvard or MIT, because you can alo do cutting-edge science in Maastricht or Groningen'.
Ben Feringa: a gifted scientist, a passionate teacher, a loving family man and an inspiration for academics young and old.
Ben Feringa (1951) won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016. Feringa has been professor of Organic Chemistry since 1988. He is seen as one of the best scientists of our time, both within the Netherlands and worldwide.
His research performance is so exceptional that he is generally regarded as one of the world’s most creative and productive chemists. He has achieved breakthroughs in various fields of chemistry, including organic synthesis, catalysis, supramolecular chemistry and nanotechnology.
Pictures by Diana Berdun Mingo