On June 13, 2023, a Diner Pensant on social safety in Dutch science took place at Hodson House in Haarlem, organized by Athena's Angels in collaboration with the KHMW. Guests included Minister Dijkgraaf and representatives from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, presidents of umbrella organizations, university administrators, and young academics. They came together to discuss concrete steps for promoting social safety.
After the welcoming speech by the president of the KHMW, Prof. Louise Gunning-Schepers, the substantive program began with a powerful address by Naomi Ellemers, one of the Athena's Angels, discussing important points from the KNAW advisory report on social safety in Dutch science. The importance of taking action and supporting each other was emphasized.
During the table discussions, participants debated the social safety of scientists inside and outside the university and how factors such as academic structure and culture influence it. Suggestions were made to integrate social behavior into talent development and evaluation.
The evening was characterized by a blend of light-hearted comparisons and serious conversations. An open atmosphere prevailed, allowing representatives from different academic layers to engage in personal and honest discussions. The evening concluded with the formulation of action points to make the academic work culture safer, more diverse, and more inclusive. Key-position administrators in attendance committed themselves to this goal, while members of local Young Academies also voiced their opinions to contribute to envisioning the university of the future.
This evening brought vulnerability and responsibility together, showcasing the best of Dutch science.
photo: Stephanie Driessen