You can no longer approach societal problems such as the nitrogen issue from a single dimension. We need models that work together and it is therefore important to further expand our expertise in this regard.
Our models are key assets when researching major societal challenges such as climate change, food security and biodiversity loss. We therefore need to maintain and develop these models properly, as we also do for the data used.
The Wageningen Modelling Group is responsible for making sure this happens. Jene van der Heide, the programme leader: “The Wageningen Modelling Group works on improving the coherence between the models so that we can explain and monitor complex societal problems and come up with measures to tackle them. The models form a basis underlying the research of the other Knowlegde Base programmes and WUR in general.”
In this chapter two projects are highlighted to illustrate the important work of the KB-programme of the Wageningen Modelling Group.
Jene van der Heide Programme leader KB-33 Wageningen Research Modelling Group
A Wikipedia for better computer models
Jene van der Heide: “Most researchers work with models. But do you know how to make a model fit for purpose? And do you know about the latest data-driven models or how to let models work together? This wiki serves as a signpost pointing you to lessons learned. Here you can find webinars on all kinds of experiences with models.”
A checklist for quality
Jene van der Heide: “Almost every study involves one or more models. We should continue to pay attention to the quality of those models and how to label that quality. Like data management, a good researcher should take care of the code and algorithms that have been developed. WUR is a trustworthy organisation. This reputation depends on the quality of our researchers, but also on the models we develop and use. To remain trustworthy we should be transparent about the quality of our models.”