Wim Stout [wimstout]
What do you investigate? What is at the heart of your research?
Surface active behavior of tailored molecules and their application into coatings inks and adhesives.
Do you have a link to a site where we can see something about you, or the center where you work?
several publications from congresses to be found on the web, just google my name
What is your educational background? What work experience did you have before this?
Education: General Analitic Chemistry, Post Acc. Coating technology, Bsc Coating technolgy, several Post Acc. trainings and seminars by YKI and Calmia, several inhouse company trainings such as diversity, doing business globally, managerial, time management, Patent analysis etc.
Experience: Assistant manager R&D automotive repair coatings for aerosol paints, Principal application devlopment and technocal service chemist at a paint raw material supplier. Experience with solvent borne 2k Epoxy and isocyanate as well as UV formulations, Acryic, 1k Epoxy, Nitro Cellulose, moisture curing Isocyanate, Alkyd, CAB, Melamine.
Experience with water borne alkyd, acrylic, PUD, Hybrid, modified alkyd, 2 k Isocyante, 2k Epoxy, Melamine, Veova, Vynil.
Experienced formulator of wall paints, automotive OEM as well as repair paints, industrial paints, inks, adhesives, fountain solutions, wood coatings etc.
Experience in powder coatings
Did you keep your nose to the grindstone in school?
I tried to but was not supported very much by some teachers, I decided to not persue an academic career but go to work and study form there. I am now acknowledged to be one of the best chemist in field in my range of work by colleagues and customers and counseled very often by PhD and MSc colleagues. Occasionally I am counseled by an Academic professor in the field of coating fundamental physics
What kind of technology are you using for your research right now?
several machines for physical chemistry mostly related to surface tension
What types of experiments do you conduct? How are the conclusions documented?
making blends of self developed molecules to find comemrcial valuable products. They are tested by making paints and colorants and conducting the standard testing. For some testing we addapt machines or develop them ourselves (sorry IP protected info)
If you conclude your investigation successfully, what practical application would it have in everyday life?
Making paints and coating perform better than they could in te past. Economic improvement as well as environmental improvements are key. Also my investigations allow myself and my colleagues to give better answers to customers with formulation challenges
What is a "eureka" moment? What is it like to experience one?
Figuring out that water is not so polar as people think. It triggered me to look at what influences the pH of water has in polarity as a solvent. Quite dramatic. The influence of surfactants on this behavior allows to tailor molecules as well as predict which molecule is the best probable solution. The experience is like being on drugs, you can't stop and want to find out more as you finally understand what the .... you were doing all these years and why. Also the fact that you understand why you had so many questions after studying a certain topic that felt unfinished or based on incorrect assumptions. (many people think that for them trivial and insignificant topics do not need furtehr studying as the explanation given in books based on assumptions seem logical, I found out that understanding these small trivial items was key to understand thermodynamics beter and solve the "non trivial" topics much faster than my colleagues.
What do you find to be the most difficult aspects of your research?
Consensus if you find a different explanation than is writting in the books. As I have no academic degree, working on that level sometimes let other academics think my work is of less standard. Funny thing is that my reports of bigger projects are better than their PhD thesis and they don't understand a thing of it. It differs if people continue learning after graduating or just want to make money and have fun. I decided that working more than 8 hours a day should mean something and anything that you learn will improve you sooner or later.
What have you published?
Too much to give a list, just google
Should there be more public financing for scientific investigation?
I don't know but I think that if universities "really" work together and share knowledge and funds, scientific investigation and education in general will improve. Now too much universities are batteling to be the best in the field, lock themselves up and mis connection to the real world. "It's so strange that fresly graduated people from whatever level of education do not connect are are not ready for the business world". People, education starts really after you graduated and you start to use what you have learned, than you will learn finally.
What is your personal position on the use of animals in scientific investigation?
On many subjects, good alternatives are present. Environmentalists hunt companies to stop using these tests but in reality, gouvernments force them to do so as some products by law need to be animal etsted before you are allowed to use them. As an example, nobody realises that blood absorband papers used in surgery have adhesives to either hold them in place or to laminate a plastic to the absorband. This is a vital fact in the performance and use of this product and key for sugery to decrease infections but also to keep a clear sight on the surgical spot (you don;t want the surgeon to operate you left side of the brain instead of the right side just because the blood etc is blocking his view). This adhesive has to be animal tested by law, even when other tests have already shown the product to be suitable or non suitable. Everybody values life, but it's hard that when you are sick, and need medicin or surgery and it cannot be given because products cannot be screened. It's easy when it is someone elses life, much harder when it is your own and you don't want to die. If alternatives are there, use alternatives, if not, use alternative tests to get as close as possible and only test those which have 99% chance of success instead of all you ideas. Stop hassling companies but change the law first, companies will change as soon as the law change because its good for their image.
Can you briefly explain the difference between common logic and the scientific method?
Common logic is what everybody understands, scientific method is trying to find the reason behind logic by people who forgot to thing logical
What is science and what is pseudoscience? Who decides which is which?
It's the same and I don't care who decides what is what or which is which. Any better explantion or minor discovery is making science better, if done by children by accident or a cum-laude proffesor does not decrease the importance of the essense of making a discovery
What is the role of creativity in the scientific method?
No discovery without creativity, science is thinking outside the box. Forget what you have learned, but look around you and open your eyes, listen to your heart and trust your instincts. You have nothing to loose and only to gain. Don't keep it for yourself but share, don't dismiss a crazy idea, give it some thought, any idea has an creative origin, find it and you be supprised.
What it is the most intriguing scientific question that you would like to see resolved?
How does the left side of the brain communicate witht he right side of the brain and when this malfunctions (like Autism) can it be solved.
Best scientific matter question however is more phsycological, how can you make people accept other people who are not like themselves
What scientific explanation is there for spirituality? Are religion and science incompatible?
No, the only question is, how long were the 7 days or creation. Eternity is a moment for God, who defines how long a day takes for God. The bible is not accurate, it has been changed and adapted by the church to increase their power and wealth. Going back to the 10 commandments and live a pure life is religious and completely compatible with science
Is there some area of knowledge that is morally unacceptable to you?
How to kill people in the 10 most painfull ways. Value life in all forms, there is no reaosn in creating a better murder weapon just to make another country scared an not attack you. This is human misbehaviour
Is there another way science could be studied in schools?
Absolutely, make it personal. We live in the scientific age, look around you, everything you see is because of science, don't make science abstract, make it attractive by what people can relate to, I had a teacher who did that to me, I got hooked
What is the best way to disseminate science in the mass media?
Bring science to a level what non scientific people understand. You need to do that anyway as these people are funding your research. Use examples of daily life that everybody can relate to
Why do two or more scientists often come up simultaneously with the same discovery?
because all universities want to become the best in their field, they don't talk, they fight like spoiled children. These two scientists should have worked together and shared their discovery instead of both claiming to be the first
What is the meaning of life? Is there a scientific answer to this question?
The meaning of life is your own, it differs form perosn to person and cannot be captured. For me it is to be the best person I can be with loving arms for my wife and children and patience for those who need it without judgeing people on first sight
Investigating is to live on the frontier of knowledge. Can you explain that sentiment?
I hate to disagree as investigation of unknown teritory (subjects) for one may be known by others. make it "....frontier of your knowledge. Can...." than you are correct. Pushing boundaries small or great creates progress.
What would be your dream to work on for your next research project?
To find the time to fill the gaps of my previous work to complete the picture which is starting to build
If you could give just one piece of advice to beginning researchers, what would it be?
Never believe that you are a failure when it does not work out the way you wanted to. No matter how small, the progress you have created for yourself or the topic you studied or even when it stimulated your biggest opponent, is progress and therefore a success
Utrecht, The Netherlands