In memoriam: Rens Voesenek

Co-founder of the Dutch Biology Council, Prof Rens Voesenek, passed away on Tuesday 28 March at the age of 65. He combined scientific excellence with an unbridled commitment to the field of biology and a great conviction of the social importance of this discipline. From 2018, Rens played a successful leadership role in the creation of the Sector Portrait of biology in the Netherlands, an overview of academic research and education in the field of biology. Through his persuasiveness and decisiveness, he succeeded in bringing together the various interests in Dutch biology. This was followed by the foundation of a national Dutch Biology Council, a national forum for the representation of interests in Dutch academic biology research and education, of which Rens was the first chairman. In doing so, he greatly improved the national consultation structure within the discipline. Under his chairmanship, a national Biology Sector Plan came into being, an overarching vision of the future in which Dutch universities aligned their focal points within the field of biology. Like no other, Rens was able to unite the field of biology in the Netherlands in a uniquely personal and inclusive way, always managing to focus on the greater importance of cooperation within biology, rather than on self-interest. With his talent to connect people and his relentless commitment, Rens made it possible for the entire field to speak with one voice. Rens was an extraordinary human being and his passing is a loss for biology in the Netherlands. The Dutch Biology Council will greatly miss his commitment, his humour and his talent to connect people.