Leiden European City of Science has a new director

In 2022, Leiden is European City of Science. Ever since the city received the official title in 2017, preparations for this special year are underway. At the invitation of the founding partners of Leiden European City of Science 2022 (the municipality of Leiden, Leiden University, and the Leiden University Medical Centre), Meta Knol has now agreed to take the place of programme director Fried Kramer who was, due to personal circumstances, no longer able to lead the process.

Until the end of December, her tasks are to present the content vision, to further streamline the organization, and to lead the search for a new director. In January 2021 the management of the whole programme will be handed over to this new director. Meta Knol will then return to her present function as director of Museum De Lakenhal.

Mayor Henri Leferink: “For the the upcoming months Meta Knol will be substituting Fried Kramer as programme director. I trust that she will energetically lead the preparations for 2022. I want to thank Fried Kramer for his contribution to Leiden European City of Science. He has ensured that an increasing number of people are enthusiastically contributing to the development and programming of the science year.”

Meta Knol
Art historian Meta Knol (1969) has been the director of Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden since 2009. Along with that, she has fulfilled various board memberships in the cultural sector and regularly shares her opinions on renewal in the museum sector. She successfully led the transformation of Museum De Lakenhal, which was festively re-opened by King Willem Alexander in June 2019. Since then, the renovated and expanded museum has won numerous prizes and nominations. Meta Knol: “Along the years the city of Leiden has become very dear to me, and I am glad to contribute to making Leiden European City of Science a success.” During her absence at the museum, Oskar Brandenburg will replace her as director, while he will also continue working as the Head of Programme and Collections at Museum De Lakenhal.

The Foundation Leiden European City of Science 2022 was set up at the start of the year to define the programme of the European year of science and to make it a reality. Meta Knol will be the director-manager of the foundation for the next six months. Lucien Geelhoed (1968), until recently strategist at Leiden Marketing, has been involved with the planning for Leiden European City of Science ever since 2016 and is now appointed as intendant. In this role, he will be responsible for the strategic vision and development of the content-programme for Leiden European City of Science.

Leiden European City of Science
Being awarded the prestigious title of European City of Science allows Leiden, an esteemed international City of Knowledge and Culture, to join an exclusive group of EU cities, leaders in the fields of Science, Culture, Innovation and Green Capitals. It is a wonderful chance for Leiden to host some of the prominent European podiums, including the 10th edition of the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF). Local champions Ferry Breedveld (former chairman of the LUMC-board) and Corinne Hofman (Professor of Caribbean Archaeology at Leiden University) will direct the scientific programme. Along with all this, an extensive, year-long city programme will be presented around the theme ‘Knowledge through Neighbourhoods’. A part of this initiative is the exciting Science in the City festival, with citizen science and citizen engagement as the main starting points. Last but not least, in 2022 Leiden City of Knowledge and Culture will present an extensive cultural programme in collaboration with museums, podiums, creative makers and artists from the city and its surroundings.