Henk Tennekes is well known to the visitors of our website. A few days ago, he told me that he submitted a letter of resignation to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences on Saturday, January 23. He wrote to me “I don’t want to remain a member of an organization that, like AMS and NAS, screws up science that badly.” The Dutch newspaper NRC-Handelsblad apparently got hold of a copy of the resignation letter and ran a News Flash on Saturday, January 30. In the letter to the Academy, Henk complains that he submitted the manuscript of his essay on Hermetic Jargon (which I am happy to reproduce here below, with his permission) to the Academy President at that time, Frits van Oostrom. The President, however, did not bother to respond. The NRC news flash, translated by Henk himself at my request, reads:
By Karel Knip
“I have had it. Farewell.” With these words Henk Tennekes concludes his final letter to the Executive Board of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He wrote his letter of resignation on January 23. A unique occurrence in the history of the Academy, which obtains its membership by co-optation. Normally, a member of the Academy loses his membership only when he dies. Tennekes is still alive.
For many years, Tennekes was director of research at KNMI. He also was a professor at the Pennsylvania State University and at the Free University in Amsterdam. In 1982 he became a member of the Academy. And now he steps out. “There is light out there” is the closing sentence of the essay “Hermetic Jargon” that he now gives a broader distribution.