Spinoza and Stephen Awards given: Four winners

The Spinoza Prizes are known as the “Dutch Nobel Prizes”. This year they go to Bernette Elzinga and Detlef van Vuuren, Reports Research funder NWO.

Elzinga (1970) is professor of stress-related psychopathology at Leiden University. Drawing on insights from across disciplines, she developed accessible interventions to help parents and young people, according to the jury report. Moreover, these interventions reduce the risk of transmission of psychological problems between generations.

Van Vuuren (1970) is a professor at Utrecht University and a senior researcher at the Dutch Environmental Assessment Agency. Through his research based on the IMAGE model developed by his team, he provides scientists and policy makers with a tool to assess the long-term impacts of various climate and environmental policy options. According to NWO, his research plays an important role in the Paris Climate Agreement, and has contributed to several reports issued by the UN Climate Panel.

Stephen installments

The €1.5 million Stephen Prizes were also established in 2018 to assess the social impact of science. This year’s winners are David Abbink and Bolt Hart.

Professor of Human-Robot Interaction at Delft Abink (1977) studies ways to improve the design of intelligent support systems for humans. Through a multidisciplinary approach, he has mapped the entire working environment into which robots need to be integrated. This greatly increases the chance of success of these types of technological innovations, according to the jury.

Bolt Hart (1963), Professor of Public Administration at Utrecht University, has trained thousands of civil servants and advised hundreds of governments and office holders at local, national and international levels. According to the NWO, he is one of the most influential public administration scholars in the Netherlands and is the initiator of a new movement: positive public administration.

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It was named…

Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677) was one of the founders of the Enlightenment. He was controversial because of his criticism of religion and his alleged atheism. He also defended freedom of expression.

Simon Stephen (1548-1620) was a mathematician, physicist, and engineer. He is known, among other things, for his sailboat, a type of sailing boat that can be driven on the beach. He also enriched the Dutch language with words such as mathematics, philosophy, equator and diameter.

Megan Vasquez

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