Jan Karel Lenstra: 'We need a Minister for Science and Technology'

Jan Karel Lenstra, general director of CWI, pleaded for a Minister of Science and Technology in his speech during the festivities of the 60th anniversary of the Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica, on February 9, 2006, in Amsterdam. Lenstra: "Simply put: The country needs innovation, so it sets out to turn the brains of today into the money of tomorrow, on a 24-hour basis. True innovation comes from curiosity, serendipity and good conditions, not from pressure or from a law that the Netherlands will be number 1 in five years from now.

Jan Karel Lenstra, general director of CWI, pleaded for a Minister of Science and Technology in his speech during the festivities of the 60th anniversary of the Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica, on February 9, 2006, in Amsterdam. Lenstra: "Simply put: The country needs innovation, so it sets out to turn the brains of today into the money of tomorrow, on a 24-hour basis. True innovation comes from curiosity, serendipity and good conditions, not from pressure or from a law that the Netherlands will be number 1 in five years from now.

I think that on the implementation side we need a Minister for Science and Technology with a coordinating task across all departments, and we need to put NWO in charge of research funding, something for which they are eminently equipped. Including, to an increasing extent, research funding for academia. These ideas are far removed from the present funding climate."