The news of the week: 20-26 March

What's happening at the university? Afraid you missed anything? Here is your weekly update from 20 - 26 March.

Dentistry professors investigated for conflict of interest

thumb-dentaid UMCG has hired accounting firm KPMG to conduct an in-depth investigation of the income sources of dentistry professors Edwin Winkel and Arie van Winkelhoff.

In October Professors Edwin Winkel and Arie van Winkelhoff declared that Halita, a mouthwash produced by Dentaid, was the most effective mouthwash against halitosis in a comparative study published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene. The problem is that Winkel and Van Winkelhoff, through various companies of their own, have equity interests in Dentaid. UMCG staff voiced concerns  as far back as 2009. It is possible that Frank Abbas, the head of the dentistry department, could also be financially benefiting from Dentaid.

Starbucks in the UB

thumb-starbucksDuring renovations to the UB in September, a Starbucks might be added on the ground floor. ‘It’s true that we are considering the feasibility of a Starbucks franchise’, says Minke Haveman, spokesperson for the UB.

Student parties SOG and Calimero aren’t exactly thrilled. ‘The quality of the coffee isn’t good and it’s way too expensive, anyway’, says Hannelore Vanderveen of Lijst Calimero. Veerle Brink of SOG says, ‘It’s possible that people who aren’t students will see that there’s a Starbucks on the ground floors, and they’ll come in and sit there, but there’s already barely enough room for students.’

RUG doesn’t have a problem with God

thumb-God-hemelSo, can you thank God in your thesis at the RUG or not? The university doesn’t interfere with the dedications of theses, Gernant Deekens says.

‘The words are not up for discussion. You can thank God, or any other supreme being that you want.’ Religion and law professor Fokko Oldenhuis believes that, while PhD candidates are representatives of the university, expressions of faith are increasingly common nowadays. ‘In this modern, multicultural society, anyone can shout from the rooftops that they love Jesus.’

Outer space researchers to remain in Groningen

thumb-SRONThe RUG, the space research institute SRON and the province of Groningen have closed a deal to keep SRON here.

SRON announced plans to bring their facilities in Utrecht and Groningen to the Science Park in Amsterdam, but the RUG and the province didn’t want to lose the institute and have agreed to invest millions of euros. SRON has promised to remain in the north for at least ten more years. Reynier Peletier, director of the Kapteyn Institute, is glad. ‘It’s the only NWO-institute on campus, and you don’t want to lose that because it lends cachet to the university.’

Sports shoes don’t prevent injuries

thumb-hardlopen-sportBe it Asics, Adidas, Nike or Mizuno, expensive running shoes don’t make any difference in injury prevention, according to research by UMCG sports physician Dr. Steef Bredeweg.

Running shoes are marketed as providing shock absorption and more stability, but Bredeweg’s research shows that’s just not true. Only two factors considerably increase the risk of injury: overexertion and prior injury. Asymmetrical movement does not appear to be a risk factor, and programs that help beginning runners to get acclimated to the blunt impact of running don’t appear to make any difference.