Keynote speakers 2021

This year we will have three keynote speakers. All keynote speakers will share their vision on our them 'Think Big (Data)!', each from their own perspective.


Egge van der Poel

Clinical data scientist

Egge van der Poel, Clinical Data Scientist, holds a PhD in elementary particle physics (i.e. tiny tiny particles) and a Bachelor degree in Philosophy. After his PhD at CERN he trained to be a Medical Physicist and was a Big Data consultant at KPMG before taking on the newly created function of Clinical Data Scientist at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam. In addition, he advises many organisations about Big Data, teaches courses on it at various academic institutions, and is an experienced public speaker on the subject of Big Data.

Wouter Kroese

Director and founder of Pacmed

Wouter Kroese is one of the directors and founders of Pacmed. He studied Medicine at the University of Utrecht and Logics at the University of Amsterdam and Stanford University. In 2014 he participated in the ‘National Denktank’, a national taskforce of post graduates on problems in society, on the societal value of Big Data. As a result of this, Pacmed was founded. Pacmed is a company that develops medical decision-software, based on medical experience in combination with machine learning. Pacmed is implementing decision support that support doctors in deciding when a patient can be safely discharged from ICU and is developing software that aid nurses with phone triage of patients with acute complaints for out of office GP practices. Pacmed also did a large collaboration with NVIC and Amsterdam UMC to analyze ICU data from COVID patients all over the country. During his talk on the second day of the Sophia Research Days Wouter Kroese will elaborate on development of these healthcare supporting software system and the bright future of Big Data.

Wieteke van Zeil

‘The Art of Attentiveness’ – culture journalist and writer

Wieteke van Zeil (The Hague, 1973) is a culture journalist and writer. After graduating from the University of Amsterdam as an art historian, she worked for several museums and organized debates on art, diversity and religion. She has been writing about old masters and today’s culture in the Dutch national newspaper de Volkskrant since 2003 and is known for her weekly series about details of art entitled ‘Eye for detail’ (‘Oog voor Detail’) in the newspaper's Saturday Magazine. In these articles she describes and marvels on the act of looking at art details, and connects the artworks to our present lives. In 2015, the Eye for Detail-series was recognized with a European Newspaper Award. Wieteke van Zeil has published three books about art and the psychology of observing, attentiveness, and forming judgment, and she contributed to several museum catalogues. In the spring of 2021, she will present a new television series about art and emotions on Dutch National Public Television (NPO2). After two days filled with data, Wieteke van Zeil will end the Sophia Research Days with a lecture on the importance of observing. She will show us as researchers and doctors that an old fashioned ‘eye for detail’ will always stay indispensable.


Photographer Najib Nafid