foto: Marjoleine Boonstra
Louise O Fresco
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Welcome to my personal website
Until July 1, 2022 I was the President of the Wageningen University & Research Executive Board and professor at the same institution, but I am also a columnist, a writer and a public speaker.
I am passionate about many subjects, first of all of course the future – and history – of food and agriculture in the world. I am a vocal advocate for research and innovation, acknowledging the importance of combining the life sciences with the humanities, and the essential role of public dialogues.
I firmly believe in éducation permanente or life long learning: a day without a new insight or fact, is a day of poverty.
If knowledge is one pillar of human life, art is the other. I am a true lover of classical music and opera, theatre and the visual arts in their manifold forms. And of course, literature, fiction and non-fiction – a daily need (like writing).
I have been blessed throughout my career by the opportunity of travel to some 90 countries, experiencing an enormous diversity of landscapes and cultures, and meeting wonderful people.
My 15 years in the UN, and many more in multilateral programs have shaped my understanding of how we humans change but also adapt to the dynamics of our planet.
I firmly believe that we progress collectively through learning and correcting our mistakes.
Notwithstanding the severity of the challenge we face, I remain firmly optimistic about future progress, in food, agriculture, science, welfare and equity.
Writer and scientist Louise Fresco vertelt over Nikolai Gogol and food
On 29 April 2023, scientist, administrator and writer Louise Fresco talked about Nikolai Gogol and food.
The third meeting in Masha Trebukova’s studio about her project Happily Ever After Gogol. This series of works was inspired by the story ‘Foreworldly Landowners’ by Nikolai Gogol and was exhibited to the public in the artist’s studio. Three meetings were organized during this exhibition.
De Plantenjager uit Leningrad ((English: The Plant Hunter from Leningrad)
A young Russian botanist, Nikolai Vavilov, becomes fascinated by wild wheat in the inhospitable valleys of Central Asia. The key to improving agriculture, especially for poor Russian farmers, lies in his pioneering idea of crossbreeding with wild specimens. Vavilov hunts plants on five continents to build the largest collection of seeds in the world. But in Russia the communists have come to power and with them a deadly mix of ideology, fraud and pseudoscience. Vavilov’s opponent is Trofim Lysenko, who promises scientific miracles and is used by Stalin to push through impossible reforms. In The Plant Hunter from Leningrad, the first historical novel by Louise O. Fresco, we follow the hopes and despair of a driven scientist, until Stalin’s net closes around him. It is a moving story of honesty and courage of a man who really existed and who in many respects could compare with Darwin and Mendel. His work is as relevant today as it was in his own time.