Wednesday February 22nd
19:45 live music door 2MusE
We live in a world that presents us with increasing challenges. Not only is the population growing at an unprecedented rate, but the influence of all these people on our delicate climate is also more obvious each day. This means we need crops that are adapted to these changes in order to feed the world. These plants should be able to deal with extreme climates such as drought, high salinity and flooding. Where can we find these plants? Or how can we create them? And what are traits we should look for?
To select for such traits we need a better understanding of a plant’s root system. Even though this invisible part of the plant plays a key role in defense and nutrient uptake, it has not been subject to dedicated breeding for climate resilience. Our speakers will focus on the challenges and possibilities of selecting and developing crops and their root architecture for present and future climates across the world.
Prof. dr. Harro Bouwmeester (University of Amsterdam) recently moved from Wageningen University, where he was Chair of Plant Physiology, to the University of Amsterdam. He leads a research program focused on how plants communicate underground through chemical signals, and how this impacts crops. Harro Bouwmeester is supported by an ERC Advanced Grant, as well as by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dr. Siobhan Brady (University of California, Davis, USA) is associate professor and HHMI Faculty Scholar. Her team studies the control of root development in various plant species with a focus on understanding the gene regulatory networks underlying different architectures. Work in her team on Sorghum is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
There will be live music by 2MusE. They play a catchy mix of funky jazzy latin tunes in a combination of saxophone, congas and piano. Songs by artists like Herbie Hancock, Mongo Santamaria and Stevie Wonder will bring you a smile of recognition. Soul Cha Cha!
For more about 2MusE, please check their Facebook-page.
Thursday January 26th
19:45 live music
Human reproduction, where would we be without it? Unfortunately, things don’t always work out the natural way. The past decades have brought a variety of ways to overcome fertility problems. On the other hand, you probably have heard people talking about designer babies: the idea that with modern technology we can engineer a baby to be without defect and have a great life expectancy. Will that be the future of human reproduction in the 21st century? In this Science Café, professor Sjoerd Repping of the University of Amsterdam will discuss the state of the art treatments and technology for assisted pregnancy. The ethical framework for research on human reproduction and for the introduction and use of new technologies will be discussed by professor Wybo Dondorp of Maastricht University. Curious about which possibilities for reproduction we have, and if every possibility should be used? Join us on January 26th to find out.
Sjoerd Repping is professor of human reproductive biology at the University of Amsterdam and associated to the Academisch Medisch Centrum. He is an internationally renowned researcher in the field of human reproductive medicine. He is involved in fundamental research and applied clinical studies, in which he tries to translate scientific developments into applications. A treatment to safeguard fertility of boys undergoing chemotherapy is a clear example. Prof. Repping takes an active role in the societal debate on the use of stem cells and new fertility treatments.
Wybo Dondorp is associate professor of biomedical ethics at Maastricht University. In the past he worked as ethicist for the Dutch Health Council (Gezondheidsraad). His research interest are in the ethics of assisted reproduction, and the ethics of population screening, stem cell research, and genetic testing. He is member of a number of ethical committees. His work is published in prestigious academic journals, such as Human Reproduction, and he shares his views on ethical issues in society through contributions in newspapers such as NRC and Trouw.