Honorary doctorates

In January of each year, Maastricht University commemorates its birthday during the annual Dies Natalis ceremony. The conferral of honorary doctorates always takes place during this ceremony. This page contains an overview of all of the honorary doctorates conferred to scientists that operate within FASoS' scientific domain.


Dr. Amitav Ghosh

Dr. Amitav Ghosh received a FASoS honorary doctorate during the Dies Natalis on 25 January 2019

Dr. Ghosh (1956) is a leading author of fiction. His novels recount historical events from a global perspective. Based on detailed archival research and extensive linguistic knowledge, Dr. Ghosh excels in bringing alive global phenomena such as the Opium Wars from the point of view of all concerned: Indian soldiers working for the British, Sri Lankan merchants, British and Dutch traders, Indian farmers forced to grow opium, and Chinese government officials, just to name a few. His most recent non-fiction work argues that to address global climate change, we need literature that helps us imagine seemingly impossible futures but that are in fact, very possible.
Dr. Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He studied in Delhi, Oxford and Alexandria and is the author of The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In An Antique Land, Dancing in Cambodia, The Calcutta Chromosome, The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide, and The Ibis Trilogy, consisting of Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke and Flood of Fire. His most recent book, The Great Derangement; Climate Change and the Unthinkable, a work of non-fiction, appeared in 2016.


Prof. Lucy Suchman

Prof. Lucy Suchman received a FASoS honorary doctorate during the Dies Natalis on 26 January 2018

Prof. Lucy Suchman is an anthropologist at Lancaster University.  Her research interests within the field of feminist science and technology studies are focused on technological imaginaries and material practices of technology design, particularly developments at the interface of bodies and machines. During the Dies lecture she explained her recent study into the role of robots in geriatric care, and presented a new approach to technological design within the field of healthcare.

Professor Suchman's personal profile page at Lancaster University
Video: Honorary doctorate Lucy Suchman



Dr. Frans Timmermans

Dr. Frans Timmermans received a FASoS honorary doctorate during the Dies Natalis on 16 January 2015
Dr. Timmermans has been European Commissioner and First Vice President of the Juncker Commission since 1 November 2014. Before this, he was the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs (November 2012—October 2014). The Maastricht University Executive Board is awarding Frans Timmermans with an honorary doctorate for his outstanding contributions to European and international relations: “Frans Timmermans has built a close relationship with UM over the years, within the framework of both discussions on the future of Europe, as well as discussions on human rights. Timmermans has actively participated in workshops and seminars and has given lectures to our students.”

  Doctor Frans Timmermans' personal page at the European Commission
  Video: honorary doctorate Frans Timmermans 

Prof. Peggy Levitt

Professor Peggy Levitt received a FASoS honorary doctorare during the Dies Natalis on 10 January 2014

Peggy Levitt is a Professor of Sociology at Wellesley College and a Research Fellow at The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University, where she co-directs The Transnational Studies Initiative. In her speech at the FASoS Public Lecture, she discussed concepts and methods for understanding the relationship between migrating people and migrating culture and how they affect poverty alleviation and development. The official Dies Natalis Celebration and the presentation of the honorary doctorates took place in the afternoon at MECC Maastricht. Prof. Levitt received the UM honorary doctorate from FASoS Prof. Mazzucato. 

 Professor Peggy Levitt's website  
 Video: honorary doctorate Peggy Levitt 

Prof. Trevor J. Pinch

During the Dies Natalis on 14 January 2013 professor Trevor J. Pinch received a FASoS honorary doctorate.

Trevor J. Pinch is a British sociologist and former chair of the Science and Technology Studies department at Cornell University. With his honorary supervisor Wiebe Bijker he was at the birth of a new field, the Social Construction of Science, in 1980. Together with Bijker and Thomas Hughes, he was responsible for the standard work The Social Construction of Technological Systems. This book is considered one of the thirty most influential books ever published by MIT Press.

 Professor Trevor J. Pinch's personal page at Cornell University 
 Video: honorary doctorate Trevor J. Pinch 

Prof. Beate Kohler

Beate Kohler was awarded an honorary doctorate for her pioneering work in the field of European integration processes research on 20 January 2011.

The honorary degree was conferred during the 35th Dies Natalis of Maastricht University. The laudatio was delivered by Prof. Tannelie Blom. Beate Kohler is professor emeritus International Relations and European Integration at the University of Mannheim and Bremen Distinguished Professor at the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences. She was a visiting professor at several national and international universities (e.g. Johns Hopkins University SAIS, Bologna, European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht, Nankai University, Tianjin, China, University of Bremen, University of Oslo).

 Professor Beate Kohler's website  
 Video: honorary doctorate Beate Kohler 

Henk Hofland

Henk Hofland was awarded an honorary doctorate for his all-round and high-calibre journalistic and literary work on 12 January 2001.

The honorary degree was conferred during the celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of Maastricht University. The laudatio was delivered by Prof. Wiel Kusters. Hendrik Johannes Adrianus Hofland was a Dutch journalist, commentator, essayist and columnist. H.J.A. Hofland, as he was also commonly known, was often referred to as the éminence grise of Dutch journalism. In 1999 he was named Dutch "Journalist of the century" in a nationwide poll among his peers.

On 21 June 2016 Henk Hofland has passed away at the age of 88. More information on his career can be found here.