On January 5th, a detailed look back at 2021 and ahead to the new year was taken. The conclusion of the New Year presentation was given by Amsterdam UMC Board Chairman Chris Polman, who handed out the Societal Impact Award.

In early December 2021 the four finalists for the Societal Impact Award were announced:

  • Marjolein van Egmond, Departments Surgery & Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology - Amsterdam Institute for Infection & Immunity and Cancer Center Amsterdam.
  • Ellen Laan, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology - Amsterdam Reproduction & Development.
  • Marlies Schijven, Department of Surgery - Amsterdam Gastroenterology Endocrinology Metabolism.
  • Danielle Timmermans, Department of Public & Occupational Health - Amsterdam Public Health.

The Societal Impact Award went to Ellen Laan, professor of Bio-psychosocial determinants of sexual health. Laan was able to uncover the links between ignorance of anatomical differences of the sexual organs in men and women on the one hand, and prejudice about and disorders of sexual functions on the other. She translated her findings for the general public in numerous newspaper articles, interviews, books and media appearances.

She also founded the Sexual Wellness Foundation, which aims to close the so called 'orgasm gap'. Just last year, Ellen Laan advised Minister Grapperhaus to consider the so-called 'freeze reaction' as a normal reaction to rape, a fact that has since been incorporated into legislation.

AR&D is very proud of Ellen Laan and we like to thank all our colleagues for voting.

Please find below the link to Amsterdam UMC New Years Speech. The award ceremony starts at minute 51:46.

Recently Ellen Laan was interviewed by Eva Jinek. The entire video of Ellen Laan and Eva Jinek can be viewed below.