Wim van Vierssen, CEO
Jointly meeting global challenges
We, as the water sector, are facing challenges that demand worldwide attention. Scientific collaboration is a key factor in meeting these challenges, and knowledge sharing is of fundamental importance. What does the past teach us?
“Everything is everywhere, but the environment selects” – as the Dutch ‘Harvard’ biologist Baas Becking put it in his famous paradigm about a century ago. Brief and to the point, his hypothesis was that many micro-organisms actually occur all over the place in some form or other, but that the environment determines whether or not a species will flourish. In his time, the first half of the twentieth century, scientists still had to travel to share their knowledge.
Not all knowledge was everywhere. Nor did everyone have access to it. Here lay the rationale, a hundred years before, in the early nineteenth century, for the creation of our own Royal Netherlands Academy
of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam; namely, to be a forum for science. True, but at that time tow-barges and coaches were normal means of transport. This year – in the early twenty-first century – KWR is part
of a world in which scientific knowledge increasingly “will be everywhere” and in which “the professional selects”.
Worldwide, shared, online knowledge is the norm! This is the thinking behind our choice this year to produce a compact printed Annual Review, and to offer a full digital Annual Report on annualreport2012.kwrwater.nl. The latter is designed as a knowledge-intensive, issue-driven environment, where you can expect to find what you are looking for. Everything is almost everywhere, and you select. By making our knowledge available in a structured manner and online, we hope to support you in your contribution to our jointly meeting important water challenges.
© 2017 KWR Watercycle Research Institute