ADA Research Group

Ada's travels

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Pieterskerk, Leiden, February 2020

Today Leiden University celebrates her 445th dies natalis! The Ada group took me along to the celebrations in the Pieterskerk, where the university was founded on a cold February morning, so many years ago!

After singing along to Io Vivat, we listened to prof.dr. Bibi van den Berg and prof.dr. Aske Plaat delivering the dies oration. They spoke about the technological and psychological aspects of making our information-driven society safe and accessible, arguing that governments have a responsibility for this, since access to information is a basic need of their citizens. Afterwards, during the reception, I was honoured to meet the two professors, and the three of us posed for a celebratory picture!

A key figure in the dies celebrations is beadle Erick van Zuylen. He leads the cortège from the Academic Building to the Pieterskerk on special days like our dies. He is also the one who keeps the time during PhD defenses, banging his staff on the floor and shouting "Hora est!" when the time has run out. I was very honoured to meet him!