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Five popular articles from 2020

At the end of the year we always compile a list of our most interesting, most popular articles from that year. In the crazy year that was 2020 one topic was at the forefront of everyone’s minds: coronavirus. Fortunately, there was also room for other stories.

Crash course in coronavirus before the virus itself went viral.

Back in February 2020 we asked Eric Snijder, Professor of Medical Microbiology, what was known about the then new and unknown COVID-19. He gave us a crash course on the virus that in the ensuing months would have more or less conquered the world. How dangerous is this newly discovered virus? And when can we expect a vaccine? Questions that were incredibly relevant then, and still are now. Read more.

Eleven asteroids on a collision course with Earth

As if 2020 wasn’t dramatic enough, Leiden astronomers discovered a number of asteroids that were journeying to Earth. They were able to show that among seemingly harmless asteroids, were eleven of these rocky objects that might just collide with Earth at a future date. Before you dive behind the sofa or into the cellar: it’s uncertain whether these asteroids will actually hit Earth, and they won’t be arriving until between 2131 and 2923. And we’ve got enough on our minds as it is. Read more.

Hester Bijl new Rector Magnificus of Leiden University

In 2021 Leiden University will have its first female Rector Magnificus: Hester Bijl, who has been Vice-Rector Magnificus of the University since 1 November 2016. At the Dies Natalis in 2021 Carel Stolker well be retiring as Rector, after a term of eight years. ‘Hester Bijl is an ambitious administrator who has a knack of bringing people together and is very popular with not only students and lecturers but also external partners,’ said Ab van der Touw, Chair of the Board of Governors. Read more.

Leiden students share their corona experiences: ‘It started with a headache’

‘It started with a headache, like a hangover. So I didn’t really worry. But then the headache changed and my throat began to hurt too.’ Student Joy caught coronavirus and had to quarantine with her housemates. Coronavirus has had a massive impact on our students – even if they haven’t fallen ill. Three students shared their story. Read more.

Alumna Amber Brantsen: Allow yourself to make mistakes’

A glowing first-time mother-to-be with an impressive CV for someone of her age, newsreader Amber Brantsen’s (31) would seem to lead a charmed life. ‘But I began to resent that image,’ says the Leiden Public Administration alumna. This led her to write her impressive and personal story in her book Uit Beeld (out of the picture). For what few people know is that for a long time Amber battled a severe eating disorder. Read more.

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