No dismissal for reseacher Barbara Van Dyck!

Published at: 7 June 2011

Barbara Van Dyck who is a promising young Belgian researcher in the field of social innovation and territorial development was fired Friday June 3rd by her university (KULeuven, Belgium). Barbara is a research-fellow at the planning department of the KULeuven, Belgium. Sunday May 29th she took part in a direct action of the “Field Liberation Movement” against a university of Ghent run test-plot of genetically modified potatoes. This direct action was largely covered by the Belgian national press because of the “violence” this action involved and because it was directed against a scientific “non-commercial” experiment. It was a top item in the press during the whole week, involving fierce debates amongst politicians, members of the university community and the broader public. Because of her involvement in this action the university judged it sufficient reason to put an immediate end to her contract. Many Belgian researchers in the planning field think that this is a disproportionate reaction regardless if you agree or not with the nature of this direct action.

On you can read in more detail some of the arguments why the university should reconsider its decision.

If you feel sympathetic with our point of view please sign the petitions to support Barbara’s case, and
or send your reaction to the University of Leuven (, Marc Waer, rector van de K.U.Leuven, Naamsestraat 22 - bus 5000 3000 Leuven, Belgium).

Prof. Louis Albrechts, prof. Frank Moulaert, dr. Pieter Van den Broeck KULeuven, department of architecture, urban design and spatial planning

Categorized as : AESOP News