Hi there, welcome. It is probably helpful to tell you a bit about who I am. I have lived and worked in the Netherlands and the United States and am currently based in Britain. I was born and raised in the Netherlands.
One of my current interests is bioethics, an exciting combination of ethics, law and science & technology. It includes human rights issues (such as discrimination) as well as questions regarding the rights of animals.
I became self-employed in Amsterdam in 1997 and have been working for clients from all over the world since, mainly carrying out studies, and teaching, writing and editing assignments.
Besides earth & life science, I have been involved in many other things, which have all enriched my life. For example, I have some experience in wild-bird rehabilitation (in Florida, with the world-renowned Lee Fox) and some in the legal realm (including as LIP and at Clifford Chance). I’ve even been an extra for a few films and TV series a few times.
I am VAT-registered as a self-employed person. I also am a company director but the company is currently inactive.
A fun fact about me? I flew an air plane before I knew how to start a car. A Fuji FA-200 Aero Subaru. It was a flying lesson I took at Lelystad Airport. I’d have loved to continue and get my license, but it was expensive and Lelystad Airport was a long way from where I lived. Also, once you got the license, you had to keep flying to maintain it, and that meant additional expense. I love the freedom of flying, the fact that you have 3 axes of movement.
I am anything but a traditional scientist, starting with the fact that I didn’t enrol in earth sciences until I was in my mid-twenties, an age at which most people are already well into their careers. Of the earth sciences, I chose the track that focused on the chemistry of solid rocks that come from deeper in the earth (as opposed to for example consolidated and unconsolidated sediments like sand and sandstone). That also included structural aspects.
Toward the end of my Master’s, I plunged into the chemistry of seawater, specifically of metals like Co, Mn and Fe and the rare earths. By then I was considered too old for an academic career in my home country, but I still managed to focus on that topic for the next fifteen years, with the aim of becoming a full professor with my own research group one day. In my business, I was able to include some of the tasks I’d have had in academia. I have meanwhile left academia and am no longer involved in active scientific research (field, lab). In 2016, I was therefore – on account of my independence and impartiality – able to assist with the midterm review of RiverCare, a large research program in the Netherlands.
As mentioned, my current interest is bioethics (which includes law and of course also science and technology). I published an essay on the new eugenics recently. I have been working on the follow-up to that, filling in a few of the obvious gaps of the first edition. I wrote the first edition in a big hurry as I consider the topic highly important. We can’t leave it up to the handful of bioethics experts who advise governments as they have no choice but to impose their own views. In the UK, those views are generally relatively harsh (ice-cold, with very little consideration for the main principles of humanity).
Besides that, I generally like building bridges and I’ve always been amazingly and sometimes frustratingly multidisciplinary.
The purpose of life, as far as I am concerned? Learning.