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December 2021 - February 2022

Dutch scientist receives top award for work on digital media’s effect on society

Dutch university professor José van Dijck of Utrecht University has won the Spinoza Prize for her research into the impact of digital media on social life. The prize is the highest scientific award in the Netherlands, and carries a cash payment of €2.5m. Media studies is a relatively young research field in the Netherlands in which Van Dijck has grown and left her mark. At the beginning of this century, she started as a professor at the University of Amsterdam and focused on television in an era of digital technology. “That was very progressive back then, because nobody thought that television would ever be part of the digital environment,” she said. Soon after that, Van Dijck started researching social media, “just as platforms such as Facebook started to emerge to where we are now, in a very digital society”. She has really put the subject on the map with her research, as students in the Netherlands can now study media science at almost all universities. “I had no idea I had been nominated for the Spinoza Prize,” said Van ...

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