The end of science as I knew it

Today an era of my life is coming to an end. In fact, my life as scientist – that’s the era I’m talking about – ended 15 years ago when I left the faculty of social sciences to move ahead and try my luck outside the university.

One of the highly appreciated colleagues I left behind in the first years of this millennium  was my promotor, Professor Paul van Geert. He too, as of this day, is leaving science and the university. He is on the verge of becoming a Professor Emeritus.

As an honour to him, I dedicate this blogpost to his work on child development and the introduction of dynamic systems modelling to the study of, for instance, language acquisition in young children.

I learned a lot from him, not only as a thinker, but also as a homo universalis. Apart from that, and as an artist – by the way, the title of his liber amoricum is ‘A Portrait of a Scientist as an Artist’.

I thank him for the years we worked together on thoughts about (language) development which culminated in my thesis ‘Going the Distance’. And at the same time – I am writing this post in the garden of the faculty, a garden that used to be the Hortus Botanicus and which originates from the 17th century – I regard this day, on which I’m meeting a lot of people from the past who I haven’t seen for ages, as my definitive farewell to science. Although I may have gone years ago, today is the final day of me going. I’m gone for good. Bye science.

So Professor Paul, fare thee well. May we meet some other day, some other time.

(c) Rick Ruhland 2015


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