Trudy Dehue, scientific sociologist, author and emeritus professor of the University of Groningen, will receive the Academy Medal from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The Academy Medal is awarded every other year to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of science in the Netherlands. The prize will be awarded to Dehue for the fact that she started the societal debate on important issues in science.
As a scientific philosopher and sociologist, Trudy Dehue focuses specifically on the sciences that study human beings: psychology, psychiatry and brain research. She thinks that researchers shouldn’t just describe their findings but also explain how they came to their conclusion. She applies this principle to her own work too, as well as happily and frequently discussing it with a wide audience.
Twenty years ago, Dehue noticed there were problems in the publishing cultures of various fields of study. Her plea that scientists should be judged not only on their articles in peer-reviewed journals but also on, for example, Dutch-language books written for an academic and non-academic audience, shows that she was already far ahead of the current debates about perverse incentives in science.
With De depressie-epidemie [The depression epidemic] (2008), a careful study into the depoliticization of psychological suffering and the role of the pharmaceutical industry, Dehue put an important social theme on the agenda. The book was incredibly well received, both within and outside the university. The same goes for another of her books, B
etere mensen. Over gezondheid als keuze en koopwaar [Better people. On Health as Choice and Commodity], in 2014. Since then, Dehue has been a regular guest in the media and gives dozens of lectures every year.
Professor G.C.G. (Trudy) Dehue (1951) started her working life in the late seventies in the children's psychiatry clinic in Groningen. In 1990, she was awarded her PhD with the distinction cum laude for her thesis about the changing meaning of the concepts ‘science’ and ‘objectivity’ in psychology. From 1995 to 2016, she was Professor of Theory and History at the University of Groningen.
Since 1983, the KNAW has awarded the Academy Medal once every two years to someone in the Netherlands who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of science in the broadest sense. Former winners of the Academy Medal include Alexander Rinnooy Kan, Emmo Meijer, Paul Schnabel and Robert-Jan Smits. The prize will be presented to Dehue on the afternoon of Thursday 29 August in the Trippenhuis in Amsterdam.
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