Highest award in Dutch scientific community granted to Prof. Corien Prins

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Professor of Law and Informatization Corien Prins of Tilburg University is to receive the Stevin Prize, the highest scientific award in the Netherlands, for her contributions to both the development of law and (information) technology and to policymaking in this area. The Dutch Research Council (NWO) announced that today. Prins is one of four researchers who will receive this year’s Spinoza and Stevin Prizes. They will each receive 1.5 million euros for further academic research and activities related to knowledge utilization.

The researchers are receiving the awards for their internationally outstanding, groundbreaking and inspiring work. The principal criteria for both prizes are the quality and impact of their work. The focus of the Spinoza Prize is on scientific work that addresses fundamental issues, while the Stevin Prize is primarily a recognition of the social impact of the research. Joyeeta Gupta (University of Amsterdam) and Toby Kiers (VU Amsterdam) are this year’s recipients of the Spinoza Prize. The Stevin Prizes are awarded to Corien Prins and Bram Nauta (University of Twente).

Professor Corien Prins

Corien Prins (1961), professor of Law and Informatization and chair of the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR), researches the rights of citizens in a time of increasing digitalization.

Prins is highly regarded for the development of the initially embryonic field of law and (information) technology, both nationally and internationally. This has produced knowledge and insights that find their way to policymakers. And that is her second great achievement, according to the Stevin Commission: helping both the legal community and policymakers bridge the gap between science and policy. "Corien Prins is a great advocate of knowledge in policy, but she also knows better than anyone how difficult this is to put into practice. Her mission is to help scientists better understand how policymaking works. (...) As a shining example, she herself bombards policy makers with knowledge from her field, namely the rights of citizens in a time of increasing digitalization."

Read more about Corien Prins (NWO)

"Being awarded this Stevin Prize makes me super happy," Corien Prins responds. "Also for my field, TILT, the Law School and our university. I see it as a recognition of not only the high quality here in Tilburg, but also the inspiring environment in which I have been given plenty of room to be creative and work together for many years."

She is true scientist with a keen eye for the social significance of fundamental questions and a big heart for her team and our academic community

Rector Wim van de Donk of Tilburg University calls the Stevin premium for Corien Prins a recognition of the important and essential work she has been doing within our university for decades. Van de Donk: "She shaped and inspired TILT , an internationally and nationally highly regarded research group in the field of law and technology. The Board of Governors wishes to congratulate Prof. Corien Prins very warmly on this so very well-deserved recognition of her enormous efforts and the great significance of her work. She is a true scientist with a keen eye for the social significance of fundamental questions and a big heart for her team and our academic community." According to Van de Donk, the award also represents a special appreciation of Tilburg Law School, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and of which Corien Prins "is undoubtedly one of the leading professors."

Geert Vervaeke, dean of Tilburg Law School : "I am extremely pleased with the tremendous recognition that my colleague and pro-dean of our Law School Professor Corien Prins is honored to receive. The Simon Stevin Prize is the highest award in science for a researcher who is particularly successful in making scientific knowledge accessible to our society. This means not only delivering top quality research but also making a sustained effort to improve society as much as possible through that knowledge and then succeeding in doing so. Such recognition follows a steady and long-standing commitment by Corien."

I hope that Corien may be an example to many in the academy and beyond

"I know Corien as a colleague who devotes herself wholeheartedly to research from precisely that mission to make people’s lives and our coexistence better and more just. She will certainly find this award and the great recognition that comes with it a total surprise herself, but I am pleased that the Stevin Prize jury has seen and appreciated her work and commitment and achievement. I hope that Corien may be an example to many in the academy and beyond, because we can make good use of all the knowledge from (law) science to further shape our coexistence in a context in which the world can no longer really be called a peaceful possession."

See also the announcement of NWO

Award ceremony

The festive presentation of the Spinoza and Stevin Prizes will take place on Wednesday, October 4, 2023. During the ceremony, the laureates will provide insight into the content of their research and clarify what they intend to use the premium for.