Marleen Stikker to receive honorary doctorate from VU

7 Sep 2021 15:05 | Communication

Professor of Practice Marleen Stikker will be awarded an honorary doctorate from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) on 11 November during the institution’s Dies Natalis (anniversary) celebration. Stikker is receiving the honorary doctorate in recognition of her pioneering work to bring technology and society together in a responsible manner.

Stikker was appointed Professor of Practice at AUAS earlier this year. The internet pioneer is the founder and director of the Future Lab for technology and society, also known as ‘Waag’, is a widely celebrated advocate of open, honest and inclusive technology. In her role at AUAS she encourages students, lecturers and researchers to develop a critical attitude towards digitalisation.

“This awareness is too important to include only in the ICT programme. You need to know about this for your profession even if you are training to be a secondary school teacher, or if you become a controller,” Stikker stated during her official appointment.

During her appointment to Professor of Practice of digitalisation, Rector Geleyn Meijer praised Stikker for her contribution to the discussions concerning how we can deal with digital technology in a socially responsible way. “As a higher education institution, we want to contribute to open, honest and inclusive technology. This starts with a critical attitude and the realisation that we need to safeguard societal values; the interests of citizens, cities and governments,” he said.

Bridging the gap between disciplines

The Faculty of Humanities of VU Amsterdam has nominated Marleen Stikker for the honorary doctorate. In its education and research, VU Amsterdam propagates that the humanities perspective is indispensable in exact research.

Marleen Stikker's work and the institutional embedding it has acquired at Waag, places her precisely at this intersection of disciplines according to VU’s announcement of the honorary doctorate.

Universities often award honorary doctorates as a way of honouring an individual’s outstanding contributions within a specific field or to society at large.