The Nobel prize for Chemistry has been inextricably linked with Groningen this year. It was won by Ben Feringa in October. The Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Groningen will continue his research, but enjoys giving lectures to a group of first-year students just as much.
You could say that Feringa has put Groningen on the global map. The man himself is rather more modest about it: “Well, we proved that you do not need to work at Harvard or Oxford to win a Nobel prize. But in truth, Groningen has been on the map
in the world of chemistry for a long time already. Renowned for excellent research. That was one of the reasons for me to come here and set up a research group. The Nobel prize also belongs to my research group, my faculty, the entire University.”
Despite several off ers from top institutes around the world, Feringa stayed loyal to his city. “It’s to do with the stable situation, which is essential for ensuring top research. For my family - and therefore also for me - it was much better to stay here. The environment that I work in is also to my advantage. The colleagues, the unprecedented facilities at the Zernike Campus and the possibilities available ensure that we occupy a strong global competitive position. I am really very proud of Groningen.”