Women in the Spotlight 2022

The Radboud Network of Female Professors (RNVH) celebrated International Women's Day on March 8 with the city of Nijmegen through a series of lectures. Three female professors shared their knowledge and presented their research.


13.45 – 14.00 pm

Opening and welcome
Prof. dr. Agnes Akkerman, chair RNVH

14.00 - 14.30 pm Lecture 1: Source of Life. Sustainable water supply in the Medieval Middle East - Prof. dr. Maaike van Berkel/ Professor of Medieval History.Prof.
14.30 - 15.00 pm Lecture 2: Interstellar ice as a molecular factory - Prof. dr. Herma Cuppen/ Professor Theoretical and Computational Chemistry.
15.00 - 15.15 pm Break
15.15 - 15.45 pm Lecture 3: Loaded themes around trauma and parenthood - Prof. dr. Elisa van Ee/ Professor Psychotraumatology in a developmental perspective
15.45 pm Wrap-up and drink

Information about the lectures

Lecture 1: Source of Life. Sustainable water supply in the Medieval Middle East

Maaike van Berkel

Maaike van Berkel is professor of Medieval History at the Faculty of Arts of Radboud University

Sustainable water management is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. This certainly applies to the water-poor Middle East. Despite difficult climatic conditions, pre-modern urban societies in the Middle East were able to supply water to their numerous inhabitants. In this lecture, Maaike van Berkel discusses the conditions for a sustainable water supply in medieval Cairo, Baghdad and Basra. What were the successful and unsuccessful strategies and practices and can we perhaps learn something from them today?

Lecture 2: Interstellar ice as a molecular factory

Herma CuppenHerma Cuppen  is professor of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry at the Faculty of Science at Radboud University.

The interstellar medium is far from empty, it consists of gas and dust and has a surprisingly rich chemistry. Despite the low temperatures and low pressures, many new molecules can form and these molecules play an important role in the formation of new stars and planets. Surface reactions to interstellar dust play an important role in this. Molecules such as water and methane form on the dust and remain frozen here, forming ice layers. In this lecture, Herma Cuppen will discuss how the James Webb space telescope can be used to observe these ice sheets and how even complex molecules like glycine can form under these difficult conditions.

Lecture 3: Loaded themes around trauma and parenthood

Elisa van EeElisa van Ee is Professor of Psychotraumatology in Developmental Perspective at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Radboud University.

Eight out of ten Dutch people experience an event in their life that can be traumatic. It is known that victims of such traumatic experiences can develop a post-traumatic stress disorder or other complaints. Less well known and discussed is that such experiences affect parenting. Speaking about the consequences for parenthood seems to be a loaded topic, also in the care sector. Yet it is important for family and children to do this. In this presentation, we look at three emotionally charged themes around trauma and parenthood and the importance of discussing them on the basis of research.