News of the week: 18 – 24 September

What's happened in week 39? Superfast internet at the UB, university builds earthquake-proof, integrity movie ready and more!

Superfast internet at the UB

RoadrunnerMeep-meep! Did you see that? It wasn’t the roadrunner, it was the new wireless internet network in the UB. The Centre for Information Technology (CIT) is running a pilot with superfast internet – ten to twenty times faster than the old network – on the fifth floor of the UB.

Well, at least in theory. In order to make use of the faster internet connection, your laptop, tablet or smartphone has to have the new 802.11ac wireless networking standard, which is unlikely – few devices are currently equipped with that capacity.

Earthquake-proof construction

aardbevingGas extraction in the province of Groningen frequently causes earthquakes, and the city of Groningen is also impacted: the gas field lies partially underneath the northeastern part of the city. Consequently, the RUG has decided to make the construction of the new Zernikeborg and the Energy Academy at the Zernike campus earthquake-proof.

‘If we start new construction, then we have to follow the rules of the national building codes and the most recent Dutch guidelines for earthquake-proof buildings’, says RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens. It will make the construction projects more expensive, but the RUG cannot say how much more.

Former arts library receives new function

letterenbiebThe former library in the Faculty of the Arts has been turned into work spaces for the audio-visual department, IT workers and staff members. Room for about 20 employees should be ready by the end of September, and three high-tech lecture halls will be available at the end of October.

The AV department will have a help desk where students and staff can pick up audio-visual equipment. To replace the study spaces that will be lost in the move, the Marie Loke Hall – formerly the university theatre – will be converted for that purpose.

‘Leave those bikes alone’

thumb-fietsenEvery morning it’s a challenge to find a free parking spot among the bike racks at the Central Station, and ROOD – the youth members of the Dutch Socialist Party – are fed up with it.

‘Quite a few cyclists can’t find a spot for their bike at all, and if you park it outside of the racks, it can be towed and you’ll be fined’, says spokesperson Siewert Olthof. The party believes there should be more racks available and until there are, no more bikes should be hauled off.

Rector magnificus nominated for quack doctor prize

Elmer Sterken Opening Academisch JaarThe Organization against Quack Doctors has nominated Chancellor Elmer Sterken for the ‘Meester Kackadoris’ prize. The organization believes the chancellor is responsible for spreading bogus medical practices in the Netherlands because he refused to stop the PhD ceremony for psychiatrist Rogier Hoenders.

The organization felt that Hoender’s thesis about integrative medicine was of ‘abominable quality’ and his research was subsidized through his own company, the Centre for Integrated Psychiatry (CIP). ‘Tantric healing, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and food supplements were smuggled in under the dubious flag of ‘integrative medicine’, according to the organization.

‘The Integrity Factor’ ready for students

thumb-integrityfactorFrom now on, medical students will be required to watch The Integrity Factor, a film about scientific ethics in academia, at the beginning of the school year. PhD student Tessa is the protagonist and has been working on her research for four months, but she hasn’t gotten any results so far. She heads to the lab, but can’t find the required protocol. What now?

In the interactive film, – based on an American example called The Lab –  the viewer is lead to the point of committing scientific misconduct, but they have to choose how to proceed. You can watch the film yourself if you’re a Mac user.