Bronze Age Bling

In January 2015, during an excavation ahead of a road-building project in the west of the Netherlands, archaeologists from the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden, ARCHOL BV and ADC Archeoprojects recovered an extraordinary set of Bronze Age artefacts.

Are women really worse at parallel parking?

Why do people become hooligans? How does our brain react to other people’s emotions? These and many other questions will be considered on 6 November at the public symposium ‘Looking at people: The world of the social brain’, organised by the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC).

'Just wait until your mother gets home’

Fathers and mothers bring children up differently. Mothers are more likely to correct children for bad behaviour, for example. This is one of the findings of PhD research by Liesbeth Hallers-Haalboom. PhD defence 7 October.

Interdisciplinary approach benefits brain research

How do practice and theory reinforce one another in neuroscience? Professor Birte Forstmann’s inaugural lecture on 2 October will be about building interdisciplinary bridges between cognitive neuroscience and cognitive models. Her approach may lead to brain research with fewer side-effects for patients.

Restoring and constructing organs

Physicians and researchers of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and Leiden University are working on therapies for restoring damaged organs such as hearts and kidneys. They are even trying to construct tailor-made organs. Read more on this topic in the new science dossier on Vascular and Regenerative Medicine.

Many scientists have no idea what valorisation is

Scientists, and not only those in the social sciences and humanities, think that valorisation is mainly about economic profit. This is what Stefan de Jong writes in his PhD dissertation. His advice: spread knowledge about valorisation; that way it’s facts that determine the valorisation debate, and not anecdotes and gut feelings. PhD defence on 10 September.

Cost-effective catalyst converts CO2 into natural gas

A discovery made in Leiden helps not only to make natural gas from CO2 but also to store renewable energy. Research by Professor Marc Koper and PhD student Jing Shen shows how this process can be implemented in a cost-effective and controllable way. Nature Communications, 2 september 2015.

Leiden based research confirms systematic and excessive violence in Indonesia

New research has confirmed that the Dutch military used systematic, extreme violence against Indonesians. In his book Soldaat in Indonesië (Soldier in Indonesia), to be released at the end of October, historian Gert Oostindie draws the same conclusions using different sources. He presents new findings and explains what motivated the soldiers.

Evolution peaks on tropical mountain in Borneo

A group of scientists that includes biologists from Leiden have discovered 160 previously unknown species of plants and animals on Mount Kinabalu in Borneo. Some of these species have proved to be relatively young. The discoveries of the expedition of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center were published on 12 August in Nature.

Fat-free mayonnaise thanks to manipulation of surface tension

Aqueous solutions of proteins and carbohydrates separate into two parts with an extremely ‘soft’ boundary surface. The surface tension between these two parts can be manipulated, for example by adjusting the pH balance. This can be used to develop emulsions of a water-based solution in another aqueous solution, such as fat-free mayonnaise. Leiden researchers were involved in the investigation. Physical Review Letters, 6 August 2015.

A mathematical model for a more diverse workforce

Many organisations have a biased workforce, even though diversity has so many advantages. Australian and Dutch researchers, including Leiden psychologist Romy van der Lee, have developed a solution based on a mathematical model. They published their findings in PLoS One on 28 July.