Academy Medal for Trudy Dehue

15 May 2019

Trudy Dehue, sociologist of science, publicist and emeritus professor at the University of Groningen will be receiving the Academy Medal. The Academy awards the prize every other year to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of science in the Netherlands. Dehue is being awarded the prize for having initiated the social debate on important issues in science.

As a philosopher and sociologist of science, Trudy Dehue has a special focus on the sciences devoted to people: psychology, psychiatry and brain research. She believes that researchers should not only tell us what they have discovered, but particularly how they came to their conclusions. She also applies this principle in her own work and enjoys talking about it with a broadly-based audience.

As early as twenty years ago, Dehue drew attention to problems in the publication culture in various disciplines. By arguing that researchers should not only be assessed on the basis of their articles in peer-reviewed journals, but also, for example, on the basis of Dutch-language books, which can be written for both academic and non-academic audiences, she was way ahead of the current debate about perverse incentives in science.

In De depressie-epidemie (The Depression Epidemic) – 2008), a careful study of the depoliticization of psychological suffering and the contribution that the pharmaceutical industry makes to it, Dehue put an important social theme on the agenda. The book generated an overwhelming response, both inside and outside of academia, as did Betere mensen. Over gezondheid als keuze en koopwaar (Better people. About health as a choice and merchandise) in 2014. Since then, Dehue has been a regular guest in the media and gives dozens of lectures each year.

About the winner

Prof. G.C.G. (Trudy) Dehue (1951) started her working life at the end of the 1970s in the child psychiatric clinic in Groningen. In 1990, she obtained her PhD cum laude for a dissertation on the changing meaning of the concepts of 'science' and 'objectivity' in psychology. Between 1995 and 2016, she was professor of theory and history of psychology at the University of Groningen.

About the Academy Medal

Since 1983, the Academy Medal has been awarded every other year to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the Netherlands to the advancement of science in the broadest sense. Previous Academy Medal laureates include Alexander Rinnooy Kan, Emmo Meijer, Paul Schnabel and Robert-Jan Smits. The presentation will be made on the afternoon of Thursday 29 August in the Trippenhuis Building in Amsterdam.