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Honorary Doctorates for Robbert Dijkgraaf, Frances Ashcroft and Robert Edward Freeman
19 February 2013
Radboud University Nijmegen
On Friday 24 May, Prof. R. (Robbert) Dijkgraaf will receive an honorary doctorate from Radboud University Nijmegen on the occasion of the ninetieth anniversary of the university. The honorary doctorate is being awarded for his outstanding scientific achievements as a mathematical physicist and for his dedication to making science more accessible to the general public. In addition to Prof. Dijkgraaf, Prof. Frances Ashcroft and Prof. Robert Edward Freeman will also be receiving honorary doctorates from Radboud University.
Robbert Dijkgraaf is director of the Institute for Advanced Study located in Princeton (United States) and a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Amsterdam. Until June 2012 he was president of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences.
Prof. Dijkgraaf’s work is in the area of string theory, quantum gravity and the interface between mathematics and particle physics. In 2003, he received the NWO Spinoza Prize, the most prestigious scientific award in the Netherlands given annually for outstanding achievements in research in any branch of science. A visiting professor at Harvard, Berkeley, Kyoto, and MIT, Dijkgraaf is on the editorial boards of numerous scientific journals. He is also a scientific adviser to institutes in Cambridge, Bonn, Stanford, Dublin and Paris.
Popularisation of Science
Robbert Dijkgraaf writes regularly about science for the daily NRC Handelsblad. He created www.proefjes.nl, a website that allows children to carry out simple experiments. His presentations, public lectures and his introducing of young scientists in the television programme De Wereld Draait Door demonstrate that Dijkgraaf is a significant contributor to the popularisation of science. He is also unrivalled in advancing the need for fundamental research in Dutch society.
Gerard Meijer, President of the Executive Board at Radboud University, on Dijkgraaf's honorary doctorate: “Like no other, Robbert Dijkgraaf has succeeded in making science more visible and accessible to the public by translating abstract scientific concepts into evocative stories. He has done both science and the general public a great service.”
Professor Frances Ashcroft
Professor Frances Ashcroft works in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics at University of Oxford, where she focuses on understanding the molecular basis of diabetes and in particular the link connecting an increase in blood sugar to the secretion of insulin. Much of her research concentrates on a tiny protein pore known as the ATP-sensitive potassium channel and its role in insulin secretion in both health and disease. She has unravelled how genetic mutations in this protein cause a rare inherited form of diabetes - neonatal diabetes. This has led to a new treatment for people with this disease who have been able to swap their insulin injections for an oral pill. Her work has been published in many journals, including Science and Nature.
Professor R. Edward Freeman
Professor R. Edward Freeman is professor of Business Administration at the Darden School of the University of Virginia and academic director at the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics and the Initiative for Business in Society.
Freeman is the acknowledged father of the stakeholder approach. His Strategic Management: a Stakeholder Approach (1984) introduced the concept of stakeholders, all of those individuals or groups other than shareholders (or owners) who have a stake in the particular decision or action of companies. The book proved to be a landmark in the development of stakeholder theory, a theory of management and business ethics that emphasises morality and ethicality in managing organisations. This theory was a departure from the dominant Anglo-Saxon approach that grants priority to shareholders and independence of management.