François Héran and Willem Frijhoff Awarded Descartes-Huygens Prize

8 March 2011

François Héran and Willem Frijhoff will receive the Descartes-Huygens Prize on Monday 11 April 2011 for their outstanding research and contribution to Franco-Dutch relations. The prize, EUR 23,000, is intended to cover the cost of a visiting researcher’s residence in the Netherlands and France.

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences has awarded the Descartes-Huygens Prize every year since 1995.

Robbert Dijkgraaf - Willem Frijhoff - François Héran - Jean-François Blarel

François Héran (born 1953) is one of the foremost social demographers in the world and has written several key publications on international migration and sociology of the family. His publications offer distinct analyses and clear recommendations. Héran is president of the European Association for Population Studies and has played a major role in its current success. He will spend the grant associated with the Descartes-Huygens Prize to cover his residence costs as a visiting researcher at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI-KNAW).

Willem Frijhoff (born 1942) is Professor Emeritus of Early Modern History at VU University Amsterdam. At the end of 2010 he was appointed Erasmus Professor at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Frijhoff’s research focuses on historical processes of cultural transfer, collective memory, forms of religious perception in the early modern area and historical-anthropological themes such as magic, miracles and health. Willem Frijhoff has played a pivotal part in introducing the history of mentalities – in the tradition of the French historical journal Annales – within the Netherlands.

The prize

The prize was established by the French and Dutch governments and is presented to researchers in recognition of their outstanding research work and contribution to Franco-Dutch relations. It is awarded on a rotating basis to researchers in the humanities and social sciences, the natural sciences, and the life sciences. The winners of the 2011 prize are active in the humanities and social sciences. The prize is intended to cover the cost of the winners’ residence as visiting researchers in the Netherlands and France. The Academy selects the French candidate; depending on the discipline in question, either the Académie des sciences or the Académie des sciences morales et politiques selects the Dutch candidate.