Alexander Rinnooy Kan to receive 2014 Academy Medal

27 March 2014

Alexander Rinnooy Kan, University Professor of Economics and Business at the University of Amsterdam, will be the 2014 recipient of the Academy Medal awarded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Academy awards the Medal every other year to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of science in the Netherlands. The award will be presented during the annual Academy Meeting on Monday 26 May at the Trippenhuis Building in Amsterdam.

Jury chairperson Pearl Dykstra, Academy Vice-President: ‘There are very few Dutch persons who have devoted themselves to the cause of science with so much passion, persistence and impact as Alexander Rinnooy Kan. He is the ideal go-between for science, politics and society.’ The jury praised his erudition and charisma, and the apparently inexhaustible energy with which he advises and assists many civil society organisations.

About the laureate

Alexander Rinnooy Kan Foto Dirk HolAlexander Rinnooy Kan studied mathematics and econometrics. He began his career in 1969 as a research assistant at Leiden University’s Mathematical Institute. In 1980, he was appointed Professor of Operational Research at Erasmus University Rotterdam. In 1983, he became the Director of the Econometric Institute at Erasmus, and in 1986 its Rector Magnificus. In 1991, he became president of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry (VNO, later VNO-NCW). In 1996, he joined the executive board of bank and insurer ING. Before his appointment as University Professor at the University of Amsterdam in 2012, Alexander Rinnooy Kan spent six years as the President of the Netherlands’ Social and Economic Council. He was and is much in demand as a government adviser. For example, he chaired various committees that investigated such wide-ranging subjects as the functioning of the Netherlands’ public broadcasting system and the impending shortage of teachers. Rinnooy Kan was a member of the first Innovation Platform (established 2003), set up to take the Netherlands into the international top five in research, education and innovation. He currently serves in the following capacities: president of the KHMW (the oldest learned society in the Netherlands); chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund; and chairman of a committee that is evaluating the national police force.

About the Academy Medal

The Academy Medal is presented to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution in the Netherlands to the advancement of science in the broadest sense of the word, and in particular its relevance for society. The Academy’s Science Division and Humanities and Social Sciences Division take turns presenting the medal every other year. The jury for the 2014 Academy Medal, chaired by Academy Vice-President Pearl Dykstra, consisted of Academy members Christoph Lüthy, Jim van Os, Jan Smits and Bert Weckhuysen. 

About the Academy

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences is the forum, conscience, and voice of science and scholarship in the Netherlands. It derives its authority from the quality of its members. As an independent organisation, the Academy safeguards the quality and interests of science and scholarship and advises the Dutch government. It is also responsible for seventeen institutes, many of them internationally renowned, whose research and collections put them in the vanguard of Dutch science and scholarship.