In 2012, the University of Antwerp conferred its honorary doctorates on 29 March. Five honorary doctorates were awarded: four for scientific merit and one for general merit.

Scientific merit

Prof Luc Devroye

Belgian mathematician Luc Devroye was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Science in recognition of his extraordinary scientific career. Devroye made brilliant contributions in the area of random number generation, statistics, pattern recognition and the analysis of algorithms and data structures. He has been a professor in the School of Computer Science at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, since 1977.

Supervisor: Prof Hans Vangheluwe

Prof Peter J. Katzenstein

Peter J. Katzenstein received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences. He works at Cornell University as the Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies. Katzenstein has done pioneering work in political economy, international relations and world politics. He considers good mutual understanding of domestic and foreign politics to be crucial.

Supervisor: Prof Jan Beyers

Prof Bernard McGinn

The Faculty of Arts awarded an honorary doctorate to American theologian and historian Bernard McGinn. He is a professor at the University of Chicago, where he has held the Naomi Shenstone Donnelley chair since 1993. McGinn is generally regarded as one of the most prominent scholars of mysticism in the Western Christian tradition, having definitively wrestled the concept away from the romantic depictions previously attributed to it.

Supervisor: Prof Kees Schepers

Prof Harald zur Hausen

The honorary doctorate of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences was awarded to German scholar Harald zur Hausen. He discovered that the papillomavirus is the viral cause of cervical cancer and he has therefore played an important role in combating the disease. Zur Hausen received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery in 2008.

Supervisor: Prof John-Paul Bogers

General merit

Italian-Belgian theatre director Franco Dragone received an honorary doctorate for general merit. Dragone is famous for his spectacular theatre productions which speak to the imagination, as well as for being the driving force behind Cirque du Soleil. He has confirmed his reputation with his own Franco Dragone Entertainment Group. His pursuit of innovation and sense of entrepreneurship make him a distinguished international ambassador of the Belgian cultural sector.

Supervisor: Prof Alain Verschoren