Honorary doctorates to Iain Stewart and Dave Goulson

(19-03-2021) With these honorary doctorates, the faculty wishes to emphasize the importance of science communication and social engagement.

On 19 March 2021, Dies Natalis, Ghent University awards 8 honorary doctorates.

This year, our faculty is honoured to nominate two honorary doctors: one honorary institutional title to Professor Iain Stewart, alongside one honorary doctorate awarded in honour of services to science to Professor Dave Goulson.

Iain Stewart: director Sustainable Earth Institute

In honour of the 100th anniversary of the faculty, we nominated Professor Iain Stewart. The centenary celebrations, planned for 2 October 2020, were also postponed due to Corona. For this reason, Professor Iain Stewart will now receive his honorary doctorate from Ghent University on Friday 19 March.

The faculty is honouring Iain Stewart not only as a scientist who has combined the topic of ‘Planet Earth’ with the Professor Iain Stewartwork of his own faculty, but also as an expert who is able to present this theme to members of other disciplines, and to a wider public.

Professor Iain Stewart works at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom as a Professor of Geoscience Communication, a specialisation that can't be found anywhere else in the world.

He was a forerunner in conveying the knowledge about planet Earth to a broad audience. He is able to combine high-level science with a very accessible and strongly illustrative storytelling style.

His best-known work is the five-part BBC series Earth: The Power of the Planet.

Read the interview with Professor Iain Stewart

"In times in which policymaking is increasingly supported by scientific insights his experience in accessible scientific communication is needed more than ever." - Professor Marc Van Meirvenne, dean and promotor of this honorary doctorate

Laudatio by Prof. Marc Van Meirvenne

Word of thanks by Prof. Iain Stewart

Dave Goulson: save a bee today, save the world tomorrow

Professor Dave GoulsonSustainability and biodiversity are two key words for Dave Goulson. They also correspond perfectly to Ghent University's ambitions.

Dave Goulson is Professor at the School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex (United Kingdom).  He is one of the first researchers to study the biology and ecology of bumblebees. Now, Goulson is known as one of the world's leading experts on bumblebees and insects.

He is also the founder of the successful Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Their main goal is to keep bumblebee populations from dwindling.

Read the interview with Professor Dave Goulson

"Dave is a life story with a strong legacy in both excellence in scientific research and strong social engagement for this planet." - Professor Guy Smagghe, promotor

Laudatio by Prof. Guy Smagghe

Word of thanks by Prof. Dave Goulson

All honorary doctorates