RIVM's Jaap van Dissel to receive Dutch academy for science award
One of the most visible faces in the Netherlands during the coronavirus pandemic, Jaap van Dissel, will receive the prestigious Academy medal from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The jury said the RIVM director's contribution to the team that advised the government in combating the pandemic earned him the award.
Van Dissel is set to receive the award on May 31 during the annual meeting of the KNAW. The medal is given out every two years to notable individuals for scientific contributions.
“As chairman of the national Outbreak Management Team, Van Dissel has dedicated himself to informing politicians and the public about the scientific knowledge of COVID-19 from the beginning of the pandemic with unbridled energy and admirable calmness. He did it in a rapidly developing crisis, and under the pressure of various discussions in politics, society and science,“ KNAW stated on their website.
Moreover, Van Dissel, who is also an internist at Leiden University Medical Center, embraced his role of a scientist and always stayed out of the political fray. During his Cabinet briefings he continuously advocated scientific-based methods to fight the ongoing health crisis, KNAW explained.
The biannual award has been given out since 1983 to Dutch scientists who made outstanding contributions to science in a broader sense. Previous award winners included famous sociologists Trudy Dehue and Paul Schnabel, as well as architect and TU Eindhoven Executive Board president Robert-Jan Smits.