Surprised and delighted: reactions to the arrival of Robbert Dijkgraaf

Surprised and delighted: reactions to the arrival of Robbert Dijkgraaf



Surprising, remarkable, appealing. Media, cartoonists and interest groups are reacting with pleasant surprise to the appointment of physicist Robbert Dijkgraaf as Minister of Education, Culture and Science.


Robbert Dijkgraaf (1960) is known to the general public as a physicist who gave inspiring lectures in the television programme De Wereld Draait Door. He also wrote columns for NRC Handelsblad for eighteen years.


He obtained his doctorate cum laude in 1989 under Nobel Prize winner Gerard ‘t Hooft and became a top scientist. He won the Spinoza Prize and was president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. For the last ten years, he has led the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, where Albert Einstein once worked.


In the new cabinet, Dijkgraaf will not only be responsible for higher education and research, but also for intermediate vocational education (mbo). His predecessor Ingrid van Engelshoven was also responsible for culture, but there will now be a State Secretary for that.


Dijkgraaf’s appointment is also a rewarding subject for cartoonists. Fokke and Sukke are in the new cabinet and are looking forward to their first discussion with Dijkgraaf. Bas van der Schot draws Dijkgraaf as someone who descends from a planet into the black hole of The Hague politics. In De wereld van Anton Dingeman, he is called the ‘immaculate politician’, more spectacular than the Loch Ness monster.

HOP, Bas Belleman

Editor Tomas van Dijk

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