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Genealogy of the Westerdijk academic family

Faasse, Patricia
European journal of plant pathology 2019 v.154 no.1 pp. 5-10
Ulmus, biodiversity, females, fungi, odors, perfumes, silk, silver, Netherlands
Utrecht University and the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences have designated the year 2017 the ‘Westerdijk-year’. On a number of occasions during that year, events have been organised to commemorate the fact that exactly hundred years ago, Johanna Westerdijk was inaugurated as the first female professor in the Netherlands. The former CBS seized the moment and changed its name into the ‘Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute’. At the grand re-opening of the institute, the mayor of Utrecht unveiled a bronze statue of Johanna Westerdijk, that now stands in front of the building, allowing her to continue to oversee her legacy at the institute. The Westerdijk-year has been full of festivities. There have been countless lectures, several exhibitions, a few specific Westerdijk walks, and of course, also some pub quizzes. And obviously, there have been gadgets. To name some very particular ones: a perfume with the scent of Amsterdam elms, T-shirts saying: ‘even a fungus dies from a dull life’ (a quote from Westerdijk), a delicate silver necklace and a beautifully decorated silk scarf. Another extraordinary product of the Westerdijk-year is an artistic graphic representation of her ‘academic family’. In this article, I will elaborate on this representation. What does it show? And what can we learn from it?