|Awarded for||Notable contributions to European culture, society, or social science|
|Last awarded||Annual award|
The Erasmus Prize is an annual prize awarded by the board of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation to individuals or institutions that have made exceptional contributions to culture, society, or social science in Europe and the rest of the world. It is one of Europe's most distinguished recognitions. The prize is named after Desiderius Erasmus, the Dutch Renaissance humanist.
As of 2015[update], the prize consists of €150,000 and an adornment that was designed by Bruno Ninaber van Eyben in 1995. The adornment is a ribbon folded in the style of a harmonica, with ends made of titanium plates. The ribbon bears a text in the handwriting of Erasmus taken from a letter to Jean Carondelet written on 5 January 1523. The text reads "variae sunt ingeniorum dotes multae seculorum varietates sunt. quod quisque potest in medium proferat nec alteri quisquam invideat qui pro sua virili suoque modo conatur publicis studiis utilitatis aliquid adiungere.", which translates as "Diverse are the gifts of men of genius and many are the different kinds of ages. Let each one reveal the scope of his competence and let no one be envious of another who in keeping with his own ability and style tries to make a useful contribution to the education of all."
The award ceremony typically takes place at the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, where the prize is presented by the patron of the Foundation (King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands as of 2015[update]). A wide range of academic and cultural activities are organised around the Erasmus Prize award ceremony, in cooperation with other academic and cultural organisations. These have included lectures, conferences, workshops, exhibitions, performances of dance, music and theatre, and other educational activities. An essay on the topic of the laureate and their work is also published.
The prize was first awarded in 1958. As of 2015[update] it has been awarded a total of 73 times in 53 years. The area in which the Erasmus prize will be awarded is decided upon in advance by the Foundation's board. An advisory committee then consults with Dutch and foreign experts before proposing a laureate; the final choice of the laureate is then made by the Foundation's board.
The Erasmus prize is not intended to stimulate young researchers. However, the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation has awarded from 1988 yearly "studyprizes" for exceptionally high quality PHD studies on the field of humanities or social sciences.
|1958||The People of Austria||Cultural heritage. Awarded at the University of Milan. Prize funds were granted to Austrians studying in Europe; foreign students studying in Austria; and excavations at Ephesus.|||
|1964||Union Académique Internationale|||
|1965||Sir Charles Chaplin, Ingmar Bergman|||
|1966||Herbert Read, René Huyghe|||
|1969||Gabriel Marcel, Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker|||
|1974||Ninette de Valois, Maurice Béjart|||
|1975||Ernst Gombrich, Willem Sandberg|||
|1976||Amnesty International, René David|||
|1977||Werner Kaegi, Jean Monnet|||
|1978||Puppet Theatre/Theme puppetry:|||
|1979||Die Zeit, Neue Zürcher Zeitung|||
|1980||Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gustav Leonhardt|||
|1983||Raymond Aron, Isaiah Berlin, Leszek Kołakowski, Marguerite Yourcenar|||
|1989||International Commission of Jurists|||
|1990||Sir Grahame Clark|||
|1992||General Archive of the Indies|||
|1996||William Hardy McNeill|||
|1998||Mauricio Kagel, Peter Sellars|||
|2000||Hans van Manen|||
|2001||Claudio Magris, Adam Michnik|||
|2002||Bernd and Hilla Becher|||
|2004||Abdolkarim Soroush, Sadik Al-Azm and Fatema Mernissi|||
|2005||Simon Schaffer and Steven Shapin|||
|2009||Antonio Cassese, Benjamin B. Ferencz|||
|2010||José Antonio Abreu|||
|2014||Frie Leysen||Theme of "Theatre, audience and society"|||
|2015||Wikipedia community||For "[promoting] the dissemination of knowledge through a comprehensive and universally accessible encyclopaedia. To achieve that, the initiators of Wikipedia have designed a new and effective democratic platform. The prize specifically recognises Wikipedia as a community—a shared project that involves tens of thousands of volunteers around the world."|||
|2016||A. S. Byatt||For inspiring contribution to 'life writing'|||
|2017||Michèle Lamont||"For her devoted contribution to social science research into the relationship between knowledge, power and diversity"|||
|2018||Barbara Ehrenreich||For giving "a voice to groups in society that would otherwise remain unheard"|||
|2019||John Adams||"Because he has created a new musical idiom by fusing elements from jazz, pop and classical music"|||
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