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VUB Fund for natural sciences in society

The Fund for natural sciences in society was founded on the initiative of alumna experimental physics Krist'l Van Ouytsel. The Fund supports the Solvay Science project, the STEM Support Point Brussels and the Physics and Astronomy department of the VUB.

Solvay Science Project

In 1970 out of the fusion of the International Solvay Institute for Physics (ISIP) and the International Solvay Institute for Chemistry (ISIC) the non-profit "International Institutes for Physics and Chemistry, founded by E. Solvay" (IIFC) emerged. The institutes are managed by the VUB, ULB and the Solvay family. The activities of the Institutes include the organization of the annual "Solvay Public Event" where Nobel-laureates lecture a young and wide audience about the latest developments in the domains of physics and chemistry, and the organization of the world famous Solvay Councils of Physics and Chemistry. These have been taking place in Brussels since 1911. The Solvay-documents in relation to these historical Councils are a unique source for the analysis of the development of modern physics and chemistry.

The international characters of ISIP, ISIC and IIFC make that these documents were spread throughout archive centres all around the world. The IIFC has - thanks to the initiatives and the research of these documents by Em. Prof. Dr. Franklin Lambert - decided to collect and preserve the documents. The Solvay Science Project (SSP) was launched in 2018 in collaboration with the VUB and the ULB to achieve this objective. The main goal is now to obtain recognition of the historical importance of the Solvay Councils by UNESCO. To prepare the UNESCO-candidacy, the Institutes' "Archive Committee" has, within the SSP, developed a virtual exposition in cooperation with national and international archive centres. By supporting the SSP the Fund directly involves the VUB in the realization of this UNESCO-project.

STEM Support Point Brussels

STEM promotes Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in the secondary education system. Problems in society are largely tackled through an inter- or pluri-disciplinary approach and STEM wishes to provide young people with the necessary tools to apply such an approach to problems relevant to their environment.

The STEM Support Point Brussels was founded in 2016 and is connected with the University Association of Brussels (UAB). Initially, Em. Prof. Dr. Henri Eisendrath and Frank Noten proposed to support teachers in the Brussels region in their educational program regarding the implementation of STEM. The proposal was adopted unanimously by the UAB and has evolved in the continuous support of teachers at a dozen of schools in the region of Brussels. One main pillar of the didactic method involves “teacher design teams” and further builds on the key concepts of interdisciplinarity, relevance (for young people, society), integration and learning inquisitively and through problem-solving. A strong network with various partners: GO!, RVO-Society, EYEST, ‘iSTEM inkleuren’, education inspectorate, EDU-XL, companies, etc. was built and is growing. The Fund aims to give a financial boost to the STEM Support Point Brussels and their activities in particular.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy

The department of Physics and Astronomy of the VUB regularly launches initiatives to raise the awareness around and popularization of Physics and Astronomy. With the financial aid provided by the Fund, the department - thanks to the enthusiasm and efforts of Jan Danckaert, physics professor and vice rector, and of professor Alexandre Sevrin, president of the Department of Physics - wishes to inspire young students to take up studies in Physics and Astronomy - and in the natural sciences in general - at the VUB.

Make the difference


Donate today at the bank account number BE51 0013 6779 3562 of the VUB with reference GIFT FO8 or online.

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