A Human View of the Oddities of Reality:
Navigating the Cosmic Dance of Dark Matter, Chaos, Evolution and Relativity

2nd, 9th, 23rd and 30th March 2024 (14:00) at the Old Observatory, Leiden

Kaiser Spring Lectures

The Kaiser Spring Lectures is a series of lectures organized by Kaiser during the Spring. The lectures have been very successful since they were first organised in 2014. In this series of 4 lectures we invite 4 astronomers who will tell us all about their research.

A Human View of the Oddities of Reality

Navigating the Cosmic Dance of Dark Matter, Chaos, Evolution and Relativity

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Gargantuan Chaotische Gravitatie en waarom we niet terug kunnen in de tijd

Prof. dr. Simon Portegies Zwart – 2 March 2024 at 14:00

Euclid: the Dark Universe detective

Dr. Guadalupe Canas Herrera – 9 March 2024 at 14:00

Zwarte gaten, neutronensterren, en zwaartekrachtsgolven

Prof. dr. Chris van den Broeck – 23 March 2024 at 14:00

Laboratoria voor Chaos: een sterrencluster die danst met een zwart gat

Sam Beckers, BSc – 20 April 2024 at 14:00

Uncovering the first billion years of the Universe with the Webb space telescope

Dr. Giovanni Giardino – 30 March 2024 at 14:00

Get your tickets here!



“That Leiden is rightly City of Discoveries, is proven by the Kaiser Spring Lectures. A good reason to come to the beautiful Leiden Old Observatory.”

Drs. Henri J.J. Lenferink

Mayor of Leiden.

“Come hear these super interesting lectures! They are truly inspiring and accessible to anyone from any level.”

Prof. dr. ir. Hester Bijl

Rector Magnificus Leiden University

“Are you an adventurer? Come hear the Kaiser Spring Lectures, and hear the latest news about the James Webb Space Telescope!”

Prof. dr. Ewine van Dishoeck

Professor in Molecular Astrophysics

“The Kaiser Spring Lectures are a wonderful accesible way to learn more about the wonders of the universe.”

Prof. dr. Ignas Snellen

Scientific director, Professor in observational astrophysics

“Wonderful stories about today’s most exciting telescopes: how do they work and what will they discover?”

Prof. dr. Huub Röttgering

Professor in observational cosmology

“Spring: budding green, crocuses, easter, the Matthew Passion, and of course we can not forget the Kaiser Spring Lectures!”

Prof. dr. Frans van Lunteren

Professor in the history of science

About us

Spring Lectures Committee 2024

The Kaiser Spring Lectures is an initiative from Leiden University and the Astronomical Society ‘F. Kaiser’. This is a society for all astronomy students in Leiden, from first years to PhDs. L.A.D. ‘F. Kaiser’ is named after Frederik Kaiser, the first director and co-founder of the Old Observatory. The society organises many activities for students, from drinks and football tournaments to lectures and museum trips, which are all completely managed by students.

The Spring Lectures Committee is a part of ‘F. Kaiser’. This year they organise the Spring Lecture for the eleventh time. The current committee consists of the following members:

The Committee

Inge van Schagen


Hi! My name is Inge and I am the praeses 🙂 I’m 20 years old and this is my third year in the astronomy bachelor. I absolutely love to listen to people who passionately talk about their profession. After which I adore asking all my (dumb) questions!! Besides all that, I’ve recently picked up arts and crafts again (I just started crocheting!!) and I like to play board games 🙂 As praeses I make sure I have a clear overview of what needs to happen and when. Additionally, I plan the meeting, make the agenda’s and try to let everything run as smoothly as possible for the committee. Fun fact: I really enjoy painting tomatoes.

Benthe Sturre

Ab Actis & Assessor Logistics

Hi! My name is Benthe and I am the ab-actis and assessor logistics. I am 20 years old and I am in my second year of the Bachelor Mathematics and Astronomy in Leiden. I love finding out about the weird things that are happening in the universe and everywhere around us. I like to play basketball and go on walks to discover the city centre of Leiden. As ab-actis I take notes during meetings and manage the email, so if you have any questions and send an email, you will probably end up talking to me 🙂 Furthermore, for logistics I book the rooms for the lectures, keep in contact with volunteers, and last but not least, make sure there is coffee and snacks.

Fun fact: I love music and listened to way too much Spotify last year.

Ethan Woest


Hi! I am Ethan, 20 years old, and a bachelor student in astronomy. I’m this years Questor, meaning I keep track of the finances. Ever since I was a child I’ve been fascinated by the universe and I’ve always wanted to understand everything about. Besides astronomy I’m also passionate about playing guitar, rock climbing and boardgames. Fun fact: I once memorized the first 100 digits of pi

Sam Beckers

Assessor Promo & Assessor IT

Hi! I’m Sam and I am the assessor promotion and IT. I’m 21 years old and in my first year of the Astronomy & Data Science Master in Leiden. The unimaginable processes in the universe and how astronomers try to grasp these fascinates me 🙂 Next to that, I love playing guitar, padel and fun with friends. As assessor promo I keep the social media (and this website!) up to date and stay in contact with our guests. Since this involves quite a bit of IT, I have tasked myself with that too.

Fun fact: I am moving to Leiden very soon!!

Dave Kroos

Assessor Speakers

Hello! I am Dave and I am the assesor speakers. I am 19 years old and am currently in my first year of the bachelors physics and astronomy in Leiden. Our capacity to describe and understand physical processes with complex mathematic is for me one of the most beautifull things there is. Apart from my studies, I like to play board games, climbing/bouldering and reading. As assesor speakers, it is my responsibility to keep in contact with our speakers. Fun fact: I work at the old observatory (in Leiden)