The well-known writer Philip K. Dick said, ‘It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane’. These last few months, this aphorism seemed a rather vivid possibility. But luckily, we found different ways to cope.
Chris De Jonghe
Instead of going mad, we learned, and we adapted. We found ways to stay inside for long periods and work from home. We learned to keep in contact with each other despite the separation and the distance.
As labs are now reopening – with limited occupancy – the dust is yet to settle before it becomes clear what this period has meant and has revealed about us. But some immediate things are clear already. For example, the isolation brought a new-found appreciation for simply working together in a lab. Working from home now and having to be creative to stay productive and stay social, has revealed just how social the world of science generally is. It is community and interaction what makes working in science fun and productive; and there is so much value in even our brief chats and our encounters in the hall.
It is community and interaction what makes working in science fun and productive; and there is so much value in even our brief chats and our encounters in the hall.
Another insight is on the value of slowing down and taking distance to reflect. The new ideas we have gathered in this period, the new concepts (re)discovered and the new experimental designs point to one thing: that taking our time, reading and reflecting are necessities, not luxuries. And that is something we should always keep in mind.
This new issue of our quarterly magazine echoes this last period as well. As Angus Livingstone passed on the torch in May, he and Oncode’s new Valorization Director Chris De Jonghe reflect on the past, present and future in a double interview. This issue also sets the spotlight on the work on molecular mechanisms and regulation of DNA repair of Oncode Investigator Puck Knipscheer, and the computational model work in the lab of Oncode Investigator Lodewyk Wessels. And an exciting feature will reveal the work of three Oncode Investigators on finding solutions for the current crisis. Marvin Tanenbaum, Hans Clevers and Lude Franke not only tell their stories of working on COVID-19 issues, but also offer their insights into what this period means for science and our community. This and much more: enjoy reading