The Holberg Committee in Amsterdam


The Holberg Committee recently met in Amsterdam to decide on a shortlist for the 2019 Holberg Prize.

On October 19th the Holberg Committee came together in Amsterdam for the annual fall meeting. The main point on the agenda for the meeting was to decide on a shortlist of candidates for the 2019 Holberg Prize. A total of 82 nominations were submitted before the deadline 15 June, all of which were carefully considered by the committee. The list of shortlist candidates will be under even closer scrutiny until the committee meet again in February, to decide upon their final recommendation to the Holberg Board, on a who should be appointed the Holberg Prize winner in 2019.

Cui Zhiyuan appointed new member of the Holberg Committee

The newly appointed committee member Cui Zhiyuan met the rest of the committee for the first time at the meeting in Amsterdam. Zhiyuan joined the committee after former committee chair Pratap Bhanu Metha stepped down in June, after eight full years. The Holberg Prize thanks him for his excellent work, and wishes Professor Dame Hazel Genn good luck as the new committee chair. Zhiyuan currently holds the position as professor at The School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University. He has previously been a Visiting Fellow at a number of prestigious institutions, such as Harvard Law School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the National University of Singapore.

The Nomination Statistics

The Holberg Prize received a total of 82 nominations for 79 unique candidates by the deadline 15 June this year. Of these cadnidates, just over half were nominated for the first time. Geographically there is an overweight of candidates affiliated with institutions in the United States and the United Kingdom. Germany, France, the Netherlands and Russia were also well represented. With regards to academic distribution the most common fields of study for candidates are history, social psychology and literary studies. The graph below provides a somewhat simplified overview of the fields of study of the candidates.

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Next steps in the process

Over the next months, reports from external experts and other prominent candidates in the subject areas of the shortlist candidates will be retrieved. Their reports will help the Holberg Committee members to make a well informed final recommendation when they meet again on February 7. The winner of the Holberg Prize 2019 will be announced Thursday 14 March.

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