Visitor from a parallel world
Maarten Vanhove turned a childhood love for animals and a keen interest in the environment into a passion for science. In his final year of high school, the young Belgian was a runner-up at the Contest in Vienna, which has spurred him on to study biology at Belgium’s Leuven University.
His schoolmates found it a little bewildering that he had taken science out of the textbook and into the lab at such a young age. Although respectful of his achievements, most of his peers chose humanities as their course of study.
“Humanities are easier to get started in. I won’t say they’re simpler than exact sciences, but they are more accessible at first,” Maarten explains.
He feels science suffers from something of an image and presentation problem. “Most people can’t see the connection between scientific subjects and daily life. They see science as occupying a parallel world.”
The image of science as being very difficult needs to be addressed by showing that it is just an alternative way of looking at reality.