Students and staff participate in the climate march: ‘The climate crisis is also a health crisis’

For Willem Schinkel, professor of sociology, it is only logical to participate in the climate march: “Whether you study or work on the EUR: we all live on a land that is being exploited. I hope this protest adds fuel to the fire and demonstrates the need for change, just to use a false metaphor. “

Critical approach

Schinkel sees the nature of the problem in the violent capitalism that underlies the exploitation of resources and pollution of the planet. “I would like to see our university change its role in this: We are currently training a capitalist elite, which then contributes to that exploitation and pollution in business. It must be different. ”

Sociologist Willem Schinkel


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Wouter Sterrenburg

The professor hopes that there will be more space in the sociology bachelor’s program on the theme of climate change, but welcomes the fact that in the master’s program Engaging Public Issues there is room to deal with the subject from the social sciences.

Climate March Rotterdam - EM - Wouter Sterrenburg (5 of 15)

On protesters’ posters in particular, scientists and large corporations were held accountable for a cautious climate policy.


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Wouter Sterrenburg

Jaïr van Nes is in the process of this education and is happy with the critical theoretical approach that the teacher is learning. “Thanks in part to my study, I now know more about how social issues such as climate change are framed. Companies like Shell like to pretend that climate change is inevitable and very complex, while making conscious choices that destroy ecosystems. “

Jair of Nes

Jair of Nes


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Wouter Sterrenburg

Fly to conferences

Justine van de Beek, who is pursuing her PhD at the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management, sees much room for improvement in academia. For example, she is surprised by the flight behavior of scientists: “We are facing a huge climate crisis, and yet academics around me fly non-stop to conferences abroad. When I found out, I was surprised that there is so little attention, especially in a group where one would expect it. We are already doing quite well in other areas: We are increasingly moving towards a vegan offering on campus. Nevertheless, I would like us to include the role of sustainability more in our own research. “

Justine van de Beek

Justine van de Beek


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Wouter Sterrenburg

During the climate march, all kinds of groups go together: from grandparents for the climate to groups of anarchists, and from political parties to the trade union FNV. One of those groups is the care block, which consists of doctors, nurses, psychiatric staff and medical students.

Climate March Rotterdam - EM - Wouter Sterrenburg (8 of 15)

Medical students and Erasmus MC staff emphasize that climate change is also a health crisis.

health crisis

Last year’s medical student Juliette Mattijsen is one of them. She is engaged in teaching about the relationship between climate and health at Erasmus MC. “Climate change sometimes seems far away, but it’s about you, about me, about your loved ones: climate change makes people sick. I hope this becomes more tangible through this protest. We must include health integrated into climate policy. “

Juliette Mattijssen (center)

Juliette Mattijssen (center)


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Wouter Sterrenburg

According to Juliette, the university has a good role to play in this: “It is clear that we must lead by example by making ourselves more sustainable and reducing emissions. But we must also dare to speak out politically on the basis of science and include the consequences of climate change for health in medical education. We must do everything we can to avert this crisis and not give up that one and a half degree of warming: the climate crisis is also a health crisis. “

Climate March Rotterdam - EM - Wouter Sterrenburg (6 of 15)

Two Erasmus MC employees have processed their disaster scenario into a diorama.


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Wouter Sterrenburg

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