Professor Gert Ostende, winner of the Royal Prize

Professor Gert Ostende, winner of the Royal Prize

(Photo: Chris de Ward).

Professor Dr. Geert Ostende was appointed Officer of the Order of Orange Nassau this afternoon. Oostindie received the award when he retired as Director of KITLV-KNAW.

Mayor Lenferink greatly appreciated the critical role Oostindie had played by making himself worthy of the flag in a special way, with managerial strength and commitment. But Oostindie also emerged in the social debate and for improving relations within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Oostindie’s closest colleagues at the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences’ Royal Institute of Languages, Earth and Ethnology describe Oostindie as an inspiration for its scientific productivity and versatility. In addition, he is also recognized for his commitment to the relationship between science and society. His humility, sensitivity and experience make him someone everyone loves to work with.

The KITLV-KNAW Institute investigates highly sensitive topics. Oostindie played an important role in increasing the understanding of Dutch relations with Indonesia and the Caribbean. Despite budget cuts, he managed to turn the institute into a vigorously and successful renewable institute focused exclusively on research. Under his leadership, publications were widely disseminated and external funds were obtained. KITLV-KNAW received the highest score, excellent, in the international assessment in 2018.

Internationally Leading Scientist
Professor Ostende is known worldwide as a pioneering scholar in the research and understanding of sensitive topics such as memory, forgetting and remembrance of slavery and (post) colonial pasts. His role in the social debate is of great importance in a time of polarization, as people in Dutch society are becoming more and more aware of the importance of having the discussion about this shared past openly, putting all viewpoints out and making them heard. to make.

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Oostindie also succeeded in convincing Dutch politicians of the great importance and urgency of research in the period 1945–1950 in the former Dutch East Indies, the period of decolonization. Five departments were commissioned to study, which will be completed soon. An achievement of exceptional importance. Gert Ostende was also the driving force in extensive research on Rotterdam’s colonial past and slavery.

Leiden Association

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