We just received the news that Marc de Jonge suddenly passed away. A senior policy adviser with the Dutch Science Organisation NWO, Marc has been instrumental in setting the scene for the Origins Center. From the definition of the ‘Routes’ – main research subjects connecting disciplines, institutes, researchers, and the public at large – within the Dutch Research Agenda onward, he was the person that, thanks to his vast knowledge of the scientific landscape in the Netherlands, connected the life sciences to the geosciences, chemistry, biophysics, astronomy, and computer sciences and mathematics into what we now call the Origins Center. Marc stimulated participation in workshops and knew the way to the NWO funding schemes for connecting scientists. Marc was stimulating and supportive, with a keen eye for pitfalls (and how to avoid these) and always with a touch of humour. After a year of absence he was recently connected again to Science Agenda’s Route 15 on the Origins of Life, and we looked forward to a renewed collaboration. Unfortunately his untimely death prevents this. We will surely miss Marc.

On behalf of the Origins Center,

Inge Loes ten Kate
Frank Helmich
Rens Waters
Jan-Willem Mantel