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How do emotions develop during puberty? What risks are involved in freezing ova? Why is gravity not a real fundamental force? Is development aid a bottomless pit? How does sleep help improve our memory? These and other questions will take centre stage on Saturday, 12 June during the University Day at the University of Amsterdam.

How do emotions develop during puberty? What risks are involved in freezing ova? Why is gravity not a real fundamental force? Is development aid a bottomless pit? How does sleep help improve our memory? These and other questions will take centre stage on Saturday, 12 June during the University Day at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Former students, academics and donors will come together for discussions and lectures at the nexus of science and society.

This year, the UvA will be organizing the University Day for the ninth time. In the morning, Karel van der Toorn, chairman of the Executive Board, will preside over the opening ceremony in the Aula. Prof. Eveline Crone, professor of Neurocognitive and affective adolescent development, will then deliver an address entitled Emotional storms in adolescence. Crone will explain where the emotional storms in adolescents come from, why the opinions of friends suddenly become more important than those given by parents, and what we can expect of adolescents at school. She argues that adolescence is not only a time of risk and borders, but also unique opportunities. Crone will also offer a critical commentary on the recent trend to apply brain research to everyday social problems, such as education, in an oversimplified way.

Knowledge Festival

The main attraction at the University Day has traditionally been the knowledge festival, with debates and lectures at the Oudemanhuispoort in the afternoon. Erik Verlinde, Professor of Theoretical Physics, will give a lecture on the phenomenon of gravity. He will show how gravity is not a real fundamental force, but arises from an underlying microscopic description without gravity. Communication scientist Jochen Peter will give a lecture on young people and sexually explicit material on the Internet. In addition, he will deal with the question of how many young people actually look at porn on the internet and whether this influences their sexual development and behavior. Political scientist Jean Tillie will explain the results of the parliamentary elections which take place on 9 June. What were the main motives of the voters? Humanities scholars Grevenstein-Anne Kruse and Bram Kempers will be philosophizing on the future of the Royal Palace in another lecture. The relationship between cognition and sleep will be the main focus of six mini-lectures. There will also be debates on, among other things, the future of the ‘gymnasium'(a form of pre-university education, comparable to English grammar schools, that includes the study of Latin and/or Greek), the risk of freezing ova from healthy women over 35 and the usefulness of development aid. In a special edition of Room for Discussion, the discussion platform of the economics faculty, economist Arnoud Boot and member of parliament Paul Tang (PvdA) will discuss how the future ruling coalition will approach cuts of thirty billion euros and rising unemployment.

University Professor Louise Fresco will present, together with Helen Westerik, the Great Food & Film Quiz. There is also a special parent-child program, including a children's lecture by physiologist Jan Hindrik Ravesloot about love in the animal kingdom.

Closing ceremony

During the closing ceremony - at the end of the afternoon - University Professor Robbert Dijkgraaf will present the UvA thesis prizes 2010 for the greatest academic achievements of the past year. Rector Magnificus Dymph van den Boom will end the day with a closing speech. In the evening, the UvA Orchestra Pzn J. Sweelinck will give a concert at the Dominicus Church.

Time and location

Saturday, 12 June, 10.30 - 22.30
Morning programme: UvA Aula, Singel 411, Amsterdam
Afternoon programme: Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, Amsterdam
Evening programme: Dominicus Church, Spuistraat 12, Amsterdam.

See link below for more information and the full programme.