University of Amsterdam: Two UvA analytical scientists in worldwide ‘Power List’

The 2021 edition of the ‘Power List’ compiled by the magazine The Analytical Scientist features two analytical chemists of the University of Amsterdam’s Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences: Dr Bob Pirok and Prof. Peter Schoenmakers.

The Power List presents the 100 world’s most influential analytical scientists as an inspiration to their fellows. It is compiled by means of a poll among the readers of the magazine and the visitors of its website who nominate scientists, engineers, software developers or business leaders. All Power List scientists are profiled at the Analytical Scientist website.

Assistant professor Bob Pirok describes the risk of the analytical sciences being drawn into a “pit fight where the focus is not on the quality of our methods but the quantity of meaningless numbers.” He makes the case for the effective and robust use of well-known powerful separation systems such as 2D LC-MS, rather than “solving the analytical problem by complicating it further” with the development of ever more multidimensional separation techniques.

Professor Peter Schoenmakers predicts the development of more and more ‘self-steering’ instruments, in analogue to the progression of self-steering cars. “The need may even be greater, because there is a greater shortage of qualified analysts than qualified drivers.” According to Schoenmakers, the biggest challenge to the analytical sciences is to identify upcoming crises in health, food, and the environment before they arrive. “This requires high-resolution non-target analysis and very smart data analysis.”

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