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The most read stories of 2021 from Leiden University

Research into depression in children, Leiden alumni in the Dutch House of Representatives and an exceptional achievement by one of our students: what do this topics have in common? They are among our most read stories of 2021.

A+ for astronomy student who simulated chaotic interactions of black holes

The exceptional achievement of astronomy student Arend Moerman was a hot topic. He was awarded a 10 (A+) for his research into the simulation of the chaotic interactions of three black holes. Moerman used a computer that calculates what happens for a short period of time and then uses the result as input for the prediction of the next period. This is similar to how computers make weather forecasts. The news of Moreman’s results even reached the national media.

How NeCEN helped pharma company Janssen develop a coronavirus vaccine

The year 2021 was the year of the first coronavirus vaccines, including the vaccine developed by pharma company Janssen. This vaccine was developed with significant input from Leiden. Not only does Janssen have premises at the Leiden Bio Science Park, but various researchers from Leiden University worked on the vaccine’s development. The Dutch facility for electron microscopy, NeCEN, which is part of Leiden University, also contributed to the development. With the aid of a special microscope a protein could be found that was needed for the vaccine. The animation below explains about the development of the Janssen vaccine and Leiden University’s involvement.

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More victims of child abuse during lockdown

Research by the Institute of Pedagogical Sciences has shown that the first coronavirus lockdown facilitated child abuse. Emotional abuse of children increased in particular during the lockdown. Children were more often the victim of neglect when being home schooled. They also witnessed domestic abuse more often. The result of the research have made it clear that closing schools and childcare has far-reaching implications for vulnerable families.

How to help a child suffering from depression

What causes depression in a child and how can they recover? These are two questions that Professor of Psychology Bernet Elzinga and behavioural scientist Carine Kielstra tried to answer in a webinar. Interest in the webinar was overwhelming, with over 700 people registering. Upsetting, said Elzinga, given the subject, but also heart-warming because depression in children deserves greater attention. 

Watch the webinar here.

Which Leiden alumni are in the Dutch House of Representatives?

The longest ever formation talks have finally ended with a coalition agreement. You might almost have forgotten that these were preceded by elections at the start of the year. The new members of parliament were installed on 31 March, and we looked at how many were alumni of Leiden University. Quite a few it would seem. To find out who, see the list.

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