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woensdag 26 oktober 2016

Nobel Prize Winner

On an early Wednesday morning, like every morning, I was reading the Volkskrant. On the front page was a great picture with the line “Nobel Prize for the pioneer of Chemistry”. Even though I think it is amazing that a Dutch man had won the prize, my attention was drawn to the word “pioneer”.
I read the story on Ben Feringa and the discovery he made. He had discovered organic molecules that turn in just one direction because of the influence of ultraviolet light and function as a kind of spring. After this he created a nano car with 4 wheels that moved under the influence of light. Due to time pressure I was not able to finish the article, but it kept me thinking the whole car ride to FC Den Bosch.

In my opinion, scientists are people who are currently busy with stuff that we do not understand or notice until many years later. They are pioneers in researching matter whilst most people wonder what to do with it. What is the use? What can we do with it, is a question often asked. This comes from the fact that most people live in the present and are not concerned with the future, something I come across in the soccer world. Supporters are very much concerned with the first upcoming game; it has to be won. From that perspective, nothing else really matters.

That Wednesday night I was watching “De Wereld Draait Door”, where they had professor Ben Feringa as a guest. The audience was filled with his proud students. The professor explained his discovery and what it was going to mean for humanity in the long term. His passion and love for teaching was evident. He emphasised that he did not make this discovery alone, but with the many brilliant students he had the pleasure of working with. On a calm and pleasant manner he explained. Like a true teacher he provided clear steps, so everyone was able understand the car and how it was moving. Ben Feringa’s face completely portrayed the immense fun he was having.

And I was too! He is a man who loves his profession and who enjoys sharing his knowledge with others. But above all that, he is someone who is concerned with the future. You could feel that he was feeling responsible for that future, a future that he most likely would not be a part of. He had made a discovery that might be functional in no sooner than 20 years. He actually started a project with his team that had no certainty of a future result. His discovery will be of great value in the future, and Ben Fiering is currently laying the basis for that.

This is also one of the things that attracts me to the CDA. The CDA is a party that believes it is very important to not only live in the present, but to also care for the future. The CDA has translated this into her aims and calls it stewardship: “We earned our environment and culture from our ancestors and are only borrowing it from the people that will live after we have left”. It askes us to look past our own interests and those of our current era in all departments, even the financial department. To manage and control is not enough. For a better society in the future we need creativity and innovation in the present. This is very much needed to ensure that we leave the world in such a state that is even better than the one we are experiencing right now. This is what forms the true basis of sustainability.

But also at my current position at FC Den Bosch I am busy with the future of the club. I have the personal drive to leave this club in a better position than that I found it in. That is quite a mission because most supporters focus only on the first upcoming game, which has to be won. They want to see the team win.
The current sport performance that FC Den Bosch is showing is not good. That is something me, my staff, and everyone around me agree on. FC Den Bosch is at a position in the ranking list that we have no desire of being on. Besides that, certain games are poorly played. So, a lot of criticism is generated. This is a big part of the sports business.
The only thing that might be frustrating at times is that not everyone wants to see what truly happened during this phase of disappointment and emotions. Just last week the media reported that FC Den Bosch’s technical policy is underperforming and failing, which is not the case at all. The achievements are underperforming, but the internal technical policy of FC Den Bosch is stronger than ever.
Every day the whole staff puts so much of energy in improving and developing the technical policy. At this very moment I dare to say that on the subject of technical policy, we are a First Division team where people work at a level that suits the level at which we are active. It has cost a lot of people blood, sweat and tears. We come from far and we are nowhere near done. We all know where we want to work towards with the technical policy of FC Den Bosch. To achieve this, more steps have to be taken. These steps are necessary for the future of FC Den Bosch.

For outsiders the relation of current actions and what it will mean for the future is not always visible. Some just want to see their team win.
I know for sure that striving for internal development in FC Den Bosch structurally increases the chances of winning. We are working on the base on which we will be able to build a very well working FC Den Bosch, that will win based on the quality of their play instead of dumb luck.
It is essential to remain calm and ensure that everyone is looking in the same direction. The team should not be demotivated by agitation around them. I know like no other that we need to start winning games to settle the dust. But my method does not change when performance is low or when agitation arises. This is my form of sustainability. I still find it incredibly important that FC Den Bosch can celebrate its 100th year of existence as a paid soccer club, preferably at the highest level of soccer in Holland.

Those thoughts crossed my mind during the interview with Ben Feringa. Ben has developed something that in many years will prove its worth. Today, he gets his recognition: the Nobel Prize.
Why does that rarely happen in sports? The answer is of course simple: in sports there are so much more factors than chemistry. Sports are filled with emotions. Almost all Dutch citizens know that the Dutch team lost to Belarus. Many will also know the exact outcome. Few will know who score the goals. And even fewer will know who played that day. But even these numbers are incredibly high compared to the number of Dutch citizens that actually know who Ben Feringa is and what he discovered. Maybe in 2046 none of us remember who he was and what he did for us.


Ben Feringa is a true scientific pioneer and deserves never to be forgotten. Thanks to the work of Ben Feringa and his students, molecular machines that deliver the right medication at the right spot in the bloodstream might exist in 2046 already. This way more people can be healed of terrible diseases at which we do not stand a chance today.

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