Harari’s honorary doctorate dedicated to everyone who is now 21 in the 21st century.

On Monday January 27, at a packed Lotto Arena in Antwerp, VUB rector Caroline Pauwels presented an honorary doctorate to Yuval Noah Harari. In her speech she praised the renowned author of Sapiens, Homo Deus and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century as a historian who looks beyond borders and not only reports history but builds on it.  

On wednesday 18 March 2020, VUB awards 5 honorary doctorate titles to remarkable personalities who connect people.

“In Harari we have an outstanding guide to show us the possibilities and dangers of future developments.”

Yuval Noah Harari officially received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in recognition for his powerful and ground-breaking insights as a historian, thinker and author of human history, and for his provocative and disruptive views about contemporary society and the world of tomorrow.

The Israeli historian, born in 1976, regularly tops best-seller lists around the world with books in which he shines a light on the past, the present and the future of humanity. His most recent book, 21 Lessons for the 21st century, was published in 2018 and deals with the era in which we now live. Before that, he wrote Homo Deus, about the future, and Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. 

Rector Caroline Pauwels dedicated the award to the young people of the 21st century, represented by the 21 VUB students who stood behind her on the stage. “In Harari we have an outstanding guide to show us the possibilities and dangers of future developments. They will have to make the right choices.”, Pauwels said.

First keynote speech in the Benelux

After the presentation of the honorary doctorate in front of a huge crowd, Harari gave a keynote speech followed by a Q&A session. It is the first time he has made a public appearance in the Benelux. He was invited by the Belgian edition of Newsweek, one of the most important news magazines in the US.

Read more about the event:

HARARI in the Lotto Arena

See all pictures on Flickr.


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Figures that matter

On 2 April 2019, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel awarded seven honorary doctorates to 10 top scientists and international personalities under the banner Figures that Matter. Rector Caroline Pauwels opened the ceremony by declaring that figures, data and research results are the most powerful weapons humans have at their disposal in the fight against fake news, populism and global warming. At the end of the event, honorary doctor and physicist Robbert Dijkgraaf reinforced the rector’s words: “It’s a fact that you can trust science [video].

Click here to find a full report with pictures, video testimonials and speeches.

who controls the truth?

This Friday, 3 May, VUB and ULB host Difference Day at Bozar. ‘Who controls the truth’ is the central theme on this ‘World Press Freedom Day’. Two journalists who risk their lives every day to bring the truth to light will receive honorary doctorates at the event: renowned war correspondent Rudi Vranckx and Russian investigative journalist Elena Milashina. The day will also see students set up a Speakers’ Corner in the Ravenstein Gallery, where they will speak out on themes such as diversity, ecology and inequality. Read more on VUB Today and check the Difference Day programme.

Rudi Vranckx - © Belga Image

War journalist Rudi Vranckx

Rudi Vranckx is one of Belgium’s best-known journalists, thanks in no small part to his unique reporting of international conflicts. What makes him remarkable is the way in which he always tries to focus on the human aspect of war.
Vranckx isn’t interested in spectacular images, but in understanding what drives people to war. Like no one else, he understands the dangers linked to populism and propaganda in an armed conflict. In each conflict he reports on, he must get to grips with the eternal struggle between truth and lies. In every war, news sources become coloured and it’s down to the journalist to remain sufficiently critical.


Laudatory speech of VUB and ULB proximi Joël Branson and Marc Van Den Bossche.VUB & ULB rector Caroline Pauwels and Yvon Englert, awarding Rudi Vranckx with the honorary doctorate.

Elena Milashina

Investigative journalist Elena Milashina

Elena Milashina is a Russian investigative journalist for the independent Russian newspaper Novaja Gazeta. She’s known for her extensive investigations and critical articles about human rights violations and government corruption. Among her work are investigations into the persecution of the LGBTI community in Chechnya and other parts of the North Caucasus. 
Following the assassination of her colleague Anna Politkovskaya in 2006, Milashina continued her work by reporting on forced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial executions, torture and the persecution of relatives of alleged insurgents.
Milashina also works closely with Human Rights Watch to record the atrocities that took place during the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia in South Ossetia. With Human Rights Watch, she has interviewed victims of human rights violations in South Ossetia, Chechnya and Dagestan.
In October 2009, she won the Human Rights Watch Alison Des Forges Award for extraordinary activism, and in 2013 she received the US State Department’s International Women of Courage Award.


Laudatory speech of ULB proxima Aude Merlin and VUB & ULB rector Caroline Pauwels and Yvon Englert, awarding Elena Milachina with the honorary doctorate.

A tribute to five key players from the South

Since a number of years, development cooperation has been high on the Flemish universities’ agenda. On 15 May 2019, the five Flemish universities will each - in the first joint ceremony of its kind which will take place in Brussels BOZAR - award an honorary degree to a person who has made an extraordinary contribution to the field of university cooperation for development. The joint ceremony is organized because of this special occasion: VLIR-UOS - the department for university cooperation for development from the Flemish Interuniversity Council - is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this academic year. Read the full press article.

Societal commitment

VLIR-UOS is the platform through which Flemish higher education stakeholders have been working together on university cooperation for development, with cooperation projects between academics from Flanders and the South, as well as of scholarships for students and professionals from both Flanders and the South.

The honorary degrees will be awarded to people from the South, people who are active in the field of university development cooperation and who carry out scientific and/or policy work which has an important development impact. Academics from Brazil, Cuba, Liberia and DR Congo.

© Belga Image

José Ramón Saborido Loidi - Cuba

The VUB’s honorary degree goes to José Ramón Saborido Loidi (Cuba). He was rector of the Universidad Central de Las Villas (UCLV) for many years, and is now the country’s minister of higher education. Since 1998, the VUB and the other Flemish universities have been working closely together with Cuban higher education institutions. Saborido Loidi has always been an enthusiastic supporter of this collaboration – not only with his own UCLV but with other Cuban universities as well.

Break down the walls

Under the title Break down the walls, Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2017 awarded 5 honorary doctorates to committed scientists who transcend the boundaries of their own disciplines and to personalities that have been at the frontiers of societal change.

Deirdre N. McCloskey

The American economist Deirdre N. McCloskey (1942) is currently a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She has enriched and broadened the economic research with new insights. Over the last years her focus is on the role that values and ideas play in the historic development of markets.

“Most of my colleagues are wasting their time”, she boldly stated a few years ago in an interview with newspaper De Tijd. “To them the market is only about supply and demand and utility. But I am of the opinion that there is ethics in capitalism and that capitalism in its turn creates moral values.”

Proximus to Deirdre McCloskey is professor Luc Hens of the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences & Solvay Business School. Professor Hens points out the importance of her tripartite magnum opus ‘The Bourgeois Era’ (2006-2016). “In it she emphasises the significant role of bourgeois values or civil values in economics.”

Deirdre McCloskey was born as Donald. “My gender change definitely gave me an added impulse to release myself from the extremely masculine world of economics, and to consequently look at it from a distance. I believe my current work is a synthesis of my entire intellectual, personal and spiritual life”, she added in De Tijd.


Paul Ginsparg

American Paul Ginsparg (1955) is a physicist in theoretical high energy physics (Cornell University). But he is best known as the father of arXiv, an absolute pioneer in open access information distribution. Paul Ginsparg started the arXiv e-print archive in 1991. “It signified a true revolution in the transfer of scientific results within the world of theoretical physics”, states professor of physics Alexander Sevrin, who nominated Ginsparg and will act as proximus.


In the field of Sevrin all papers are made available on the arXiv repository before being published in conventional scientific publications. Over the past 25 years arXiv has known explosive growth and became a dominant archive for physics, astronomy, computer science and more and more other domains. In 2015 alone more than 105.000 new pre-prints were archived and more than 139 million downloads were registered. “I believe that few people have had such a significant impact on the distribution of scientific results as Paul Ginsparg”, says professor Sevrin of the Faculty of Sciences and Bio-Engeneering.      


Willem Van Mechelen

Dutchman Willem van Mechelen (1952) is professor Social Medicine, with a focus on occupational and sports medicine at VU Amsterdam. He has had a fruitful career sporting an impressive list of more than 550 scientific publications. He is co-author of an article that was published in the medical scientific journal The Lancet a few months ago titled ‘The economic burden of physical inactivity’. The article was widely cited in the international media. The research of Willem Van Mechelen centers around health prevention, sport injuries (prevention and treatment) and the socio-economical aspects of exercise. “Willem van Mechelen is someone who - free of prejudices - has a clear opinion and dares to act”, posits professor of exercise physiology Romain Meeusen, who acts as proximus on behalf of the Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy.

Gary T. Marx

The American sociologer Gary T. Marx (1938) is professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was a pioneer with groundbreaking insights in the research on surveillance. He gained fame with his book ‘Undercover: Police Surveillance in America’ (1988). Proximus professor Serge Gutwirth of the Faculty of Law and Criminology emphasises that “Gary Marx was absolutely the first one to profoundly research the undercover topic in a scientific manner. From there he expanded his focus into privacy and surveillance.” Last year his magnum opus ‘Windows Into the Soul: Surveillance and Society in an Age of High technology’ was published. To Gary Marx surveillance and social control are inherently neither good nor bad, it all depends on the context and the behaviour. Marx looks at all possible shapes and forms of surveillance: by governments, by corporations and organisations, but also between individuals. Marx’ approach in that sense is also groundbreaking in that it is inductive and “modestly analytical”, and as such, takes the used techniques very seriously.

Jan Terlouw

Jan Terlouw (1931) is probably most known for his work as a (youth) author of among other the classics Koning van Katoren and Oorlogswinter. Jan Terlouw grew up as a child during World War II and that left a profound effect on him.

After his studies as a mathematician and physicist he commenced a successful academic career. This scientific predisposition stayed with him throughout his life, even as a politician, where he was one of the leading figures of the D66 party. Terlouw always considered himself a scientist first, on his own account because that was his profession as a young man and because his academic approach influenced his writing and work in politics, but never the other way around.

In recent years Terlouw strives very explicitly for more sustainability and a long term vision on climate change. His most recent work “Het Hebzuchtgas” focuses completely around that topic. Last December Terlouw made a passionate plea in the popular Dutch talkshow De Wereld Draait Door to that effect. A plea against the destruction of our planet and for the restoration of trust between people.

Rector Caroline Pauwels is proxima of Jan Terlouw. “He fits perfectly in the theme of our honorary doctorates: Break down the walls. Terlouw is scientist, author and (former) politician all at the same time. That is not an obvious combination but Terlouw manages to be a little bit politician, writer and academic in everything he does.”


Emma Bonino and the inhabitants of Lampedusa

After the summer VUB awarded an additional two honorary doctorates, one to the committed Italian politician Emma Bonino and one to the citizens of the island of Lampedusa.

Voices of resistance

On Thursday 3 May 2018, the Tunisian journalist and human rights defender Sihem Bensedrine and the Burundian human rights activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa received a joint honorary doctorate from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and the Univérsité libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Both honorary doctors symbolize the fight for freedom of expression. The award ceremony took place in Bozar during Difference Day, the annual event on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.

Sihem Bensedrine

Sihem Bensedrine is a Tunisian journalist and human rights defender. Since June 2014, she has been President of the truth and reconciliation committee Instance Vérité & Dignité, which focuses on reconciliation in Tunisia after the democratic revolution that put an end to the dictatorship in the North African country. The Committee’s President Bensedrine has personally experienced the repression, but clearly states that the aim of the Committee is not revenge, but to record testimonials for history. “Tunisians are tolerant, but only if they know the truth.”

Bensedrine has already received many other international awards in recognition of her courage in defending and promoting press freedom. In 2012, Sihem Bensedrine received the Alison Des Forges Award from Human Rights Watch for her commitment to human rights.

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is a Burundian human rights activist. In August 2001, he founded the Association Burundaise pour la Protection des Droits Humains et des Personnes Détenues (APRODH). Before that, he worked as a civil servant at the Ministry of Economy and Finance and subsequently as a police officer in the air and customs department. In this position, he was wrongly accused and arrested for illegal possession of a weapon. For two years, from 1994 until 1996, he was locked up in the Central Prison of Mpimba. During those two years of imprisonment, Mbonimpa was often subjected to beatings and torture. This terrible experience prompted him to found APRODH. Mbonimpa received many death threats and, on 3 August 2015, the human rights activist was shot in Bujumbura. A few days later, he arrived in Belgium for further medical treatment.


Since then he has lived in exile in our country. He has received several awards, including the Alison Des Forges Award from Human Rights Watch in 2016.

Doctor Honoris Causa 2003 - 2019

Below is an overview of all the VUB Doctores Honoris Causa awarded by Vrije Universitiet Brussel.

1993 - Nelson Mandela

Mandela actually already had an honorary doctorate at the ULB, but he could only receive it after being released from prison

Nominated by the university

  • Mrs. Chris VAN DEN WYNGAERT (magistrate Yugoslavia-tribunal)
  • Mr. Johan Olav KOSS (founder, chairman and CEO, Right to Play)
  • Mr. Jacques MOERAERT (ZAK) (cartoonist)
  • Mr. Herman VAN VEEN (artist, composer, writer and activist)
  • Mrs. Simone VEIL (former chairman of the European Parliament, member of the French Conseil Constitutionnel)
  • Mrs. Nawal EL SAADAWI (Egyptian writer and women’s rights advocate)
  • Mrs. Frie LEYSEN (director Young Arab Theatre fund, former director of 'De Singel' and 'KunstenFESTIVALdesarts')
  • Prof. Dr. C. REEDIJK (head librarian ’s Gravenhage)
  • Mr H. STORCK (cinematographer)
  • Prof. Ir. A. JAUMOTTE (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
  • Mr H. PEREZ DE CUELLAR (secretary-general of the United Nations)
  • Mr M. DE WILDE (journalist – BRT)
  • Mr G. WALSCHAP (author – Brussels)
  • Mr P. BOULEZ (composer-conductor, Paris)
  • Mr V. LEGLEY (musician)
  • Cdt. J.Y. COUSTEAU (oceanographer – Paris)
  • Mr Chico MENDEZE FILHO (Brazilian union leader)
  • Mr Alexci YABLOKOV (representative, chairman committee for ecology, USSR)
  • Mr Willy BRANDT (former chancellor of the German Bundesrepublik)
  • Mr Vaclav HAVEL (former president of Czechoslovakia)
  • Mr F.W. DE KLERK (former State President and Vice-president of South Africa)
  • Mr N.R. MANDELA (former president of South Africa)
  • Mrs Anne Theresa DE KEERSMAEKER (choreographer, artistic director Rosas)
  • Prof. Dr. Peter PIOT (director HIV/AIDS prevention program of the United Nations)
  • Prof. Dr. Ilya PRIGOGINE (nobel prize winner for chemistry 1977)
  • Sir Peter USTINOV (ambassador Unicef)
  • Mrs Shulamit ALONI (Israelian lawyer and politician, activist for civil rights and former minister of education and culture 1992-1993)
  • Prof. Dr. Hanan ASHRAWI (former spokesperson of the PLO and former minister of higher education in the Palestinean cabinet)
  • Lord Yehudi MENUHIN (violinist and combative humanist)
  • Prof. Dr. Sadako OGATA (high commissioner for refugees of the United Nations)
  • Mrs Lydia CHAGOLL (ballet dancer, choreographer, dans pedagogist, author, cinematographer)


Jazz musician and harmonica player Toots Thielemans was the first to receive a joint honorary doctorate from the 2 Brussels universities, VUB and ULB.


How gender analysis, applied to science & technology creates new research opportunities? This is why science historian Londa Schiebinger received her honorary doctorate.

  • Mr Toots THIELEMANS (musician)
  • Mr Dario FO (Nobel prize winner for literature 1997)
  • Dr. Hans BLIX (head of the UN weapons inspectors in Iraq)
  • Mr Daniël BARENBOIM (pianist and conductor)
  • Prof. Dr. Richard DAWKINS (Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science, University of Oxford )
  • Mr Nathan RAMET (president Joods Museum voor Deportatie en Verzet)
  • Mrs Sonia GANDHI, (chairwoman Indian Congress Party)
  • Prof. Dr. Marleen TEMMERMAN (UGent)
  • Mr Eddy MERCKX (cyclist)
  • Mrs Fatou BENSOUDA
  • Prof. Dr. Londa SCHIEBINGER (Stanford University)
  • Mrs Francisca ANYANGO
  • Prof. Dr. Marie LEVENS
  • Dr. Willy PEERS


Eddy Merckx receives his honorary doctorate for his exceptional sport performances and contribution to the democratization and popularization of (cycling) sport.


A honorary doctorate for gynecologist & politician Marleen Temmerman & professors Levy, Soukoulis & Horowitz for their academic, scientific or social contribution.

Karine Chemla, 2019: "If you look at how people have tried to solve mathematical problems, and the unbelievable, unexpected concepts that they’ve discovered, you can’t help but see beauty in that human creativity."

Nominated by the faculty of Arts and Philosophy

  • Prof. Dr. ALER (Amsterdam)
  • Prof. Dr. B. SLICHER VAN BATH (Amsterdam)
  • Prof. Dr. J. KAMERBEEK (Amsterdam)
  • Prof. Dr. R. POMEAU (Sorbonne)
  • Prof. Dr. J. FISHMAN (New York)
  • Prof. Dr. J. BIALOSTOCKI (Warschau)
  • Prof. Dr. V. KARAGEORGHIS (Cyprus)
  • Prof. Dr. Chr. WOLF (Berlijn)
  • Prof. Dr. G. PARKER (Illinois)
  • Mrs AUNG SAN SUU KYI (Myanmar), Nobel peace prize winner 1991
  • Prof. Dr. Richard Rorty (Stanford)

Nominated by the concertation structure Humanities

  • Prof. Dr. Noam CHOMSKY
  • Prof. dr. Wolfgang MACKIEWICZ (Freie Universität Berlin)
  • Prof. dr. Peter BURKE (Cambridge University)

Nominated by the faculty of Law and Criminology

  • Prof. Dr. J. CARBONNIER (Paris)
  • Prof. Dr. H. MAAS (Leiden)
  • Prof. Dr. E. STEIN (Michigan)
  • Prof. Dr. G. BAUMGARTEL (Cologne)
  • Prof. Dr. E. LUYTEN (Nijmegen)
  • Prof. Dr. H. ANHUM (Amsterdam)
  • Prof. Dr. L. SOHN (Georgia)
  • Prof. Dr. P. CRAMER (Giessen)
  • Prof. Dr. Th. BUERGENTHAL (George Washington University)
  • Prof. Dr. August Cornelis 't HART (Rijksuniversiteit Leiden)

Nominated by the faculty of Economic, Social and Political Sciences

  • Prof. Dr. J. PEN (Groningen)
  • Prof. Dr. H. THEIL (Chicago)
  • Prof. Dr. B. ROY (Paris)
  • Prof. Dr. H. MILLER (Georgia)
  • Prof. Dr. J. ZIMMERMAN (Aachen)
  • Prof. Dr. J. COLEMAN (Chicago)
  • Prof. Dr. S.M. LIPSET (Stanford)
  • Prof. Dr. P. NIJKAMP (Amsterdam)
  • Prof. Dr. R. PALMER (Pennsylvania)
  • Prof. Dr. N.B. RYDER (Princeton)
  • Prof. Dr. J. STENGERS (Brussels)
  • Prof. Dr. A.H.G. RINNOOY KAN (Erasmusuniversiteit Rotterdam)
  • Prof. Dr. B.S. FREY (University of Zurich)

Nominated by the concertation structure Humanities

  • Prof. Dr. D. L. HOROWITZ (Duke University)

Nominated by the faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences

  • Prof. Dr. J. BRUNER (Oxford)
  • Prof. Dr. K. GOTTSCHALDT (Göttingen)
  • Prof. Dr. P. ARGYLE (Oxford)
  • Prof. Dr. R. HARRE (Oxford)
  • Prof. Dr. H. MATURANA (Chili)
  • Prof. Dr. A.F. SANDERS (Amsterdam)
  • Prof. Dr. J. RISPENS (Leiden)
  • Prof. Dr. J.N. BUTCHER (Minneapolis)
  • Prof. Dr. H. DYSERINCK (Aachen)
  • Prof. Dr. Th. MILLON (University of Miami)
  • Prof. Dr. S. HEGARTY (National Foundation for Educational Research, U.K.)

Nominated by the concertation structure Humanities

  • Prof. Dr. David Garland, New York University, School of Law
  • Prof. Dr. Bruno S. Frey, Universität Zürich, Institut für Empirische Wirtschafsforschung
  • Prof. Dr. Michael POSNER, professor Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon.
  • Prof. Dr. Carol GILLIGAN (New York University)

Nominated by the faculty of Sciences

  • Prof. Dr. H. FREUDENTHAL (Utrecht)
  • Prof. Dr. R. PORTER (Oxford)
  • Prof. Dr. R. DUBELCCO (San Diego)
  • Prof. Dr. A. PELCKZYNSKI (Warschau)
  • Prof. Dr. D. MINSKY (Massachussetts)
  • Prof. Dr. P. DELIGNE (Princeton)
  • Prof. Dr. V.J. HRUBY (Arizona)
  • Prof. Dr. R. JEENER (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
  • Prof. Dr. A. RAMESH (Madras)
  • Prof. Dr. G.M. ROSENBLATT (Lawrence Berkely Laboratory)
  • Prof. Dr. G. CHARPAK (CERN Genève), Nobelprijs voor fysica 1992
  • Prof. Dr. Alan Roy FERSHT (Cambridge University, U.K.)
  • Prof. Dr. Pattie MAES (MIT Media Laboratory)

Nominated by the concertation structure Exact Sciences

  • Mr Ad Bax, National Institute of Health, Bethesda
  • Mr Richard STALLMAN (advocate of the GNU Public License)
  • Prof. dr. Robert BROUT and prof. dr. François ENGLERT (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
  • Prof. Dr. Costas SOUKOULIS (Iowa State University, University of Crete)
  • Prof. Dr. Cecilia JARLSKOG (Lund University)

In 2013 Kim Clijsters receives an honorary doctorate for the role she played as sports ambassador and the way in which she combined a top sport career with family life.

Nominated by the faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences

  • Prof. Dr. P. GAILLARD (Leiden)
  • Prof. Dr. C. HEDINGER (Zürich)
  • Prof. Dr. D. DONIACH (London)
  • Prof. Dr. J. ROBERTSON (Glasgow)
  • Prof. Dr. R. EDWARDS (Cambridge)
  • Prof. Dr. E. GARFIELD (Pennsylvania)
  • Prof. Dr. Med. Em. B. FOLKOW (University of Göteborg)
  • Prof. Dr. Med. Em. M.E. MULLER (Universität Berlin)
  • Prof. Dr. Med. M.G. ROSSMANN (Purdue University - West Lafayette)
  • Prof. Dr. Med. H.N. WAGNER (Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore)
  • Prof. Dr. D. COLLEN (KU Leuven)
  • Prof. Dr. Ralph L. STEINMAN (Rockefeller University, U.S.A.)

Nominated by the concertation structure Medical Sciences

  • Prof. Dr. Daniel R. Gould (Michigan State University, College of Education, Institute for the Study of Youth)
  • Prof. Dr. Alan TROUNSON (Monash University)
  • Prof. Dr. Martin RAFF (professor of Biology, Biology Department, University College Londen)
  • Prof. Dr. Ronald LEVY (Stanford University)
  • Prof. Dr. Lindsay CARTER (San Diego State University)
  • Mrs Kim Clijsters (tennis player)
  • Prof. Dr. Luigi Naldini (San Raffaele Scientific Institute)

Nominated by the faculty of Engineering Sciences

  • Prof. Dr. J. BESSELING (TU Delft)
  • Prof. Dr. K. MISLOW (Princeton)
  • Prof. Dr. P. ROWE (London)
  • Prof. Dr. O. ZIENKIEWICS (Swansea)
  • Prof. Dr. H. BRINSON (Virginia)
  • Prof. Dr. J. BAILEY (California Institute of Technology)
  • Prof. Dr. W. LEONHARD (Braunschwieg)
  • Prof. Dr. P. EYKHOFF (Technische Universiteit Eindhoven)
  • Prof. Em. Dr. Ir. J. KESTENS (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
  • Prof. Dr. B. VAN LEER (University of Michigan)
  • Prof. dr. Michel GEVERS (Université Catholique de Louvain)
  • Prof. Dr. Z. HASHIN (Universiteit van Tel-Aviv)
  • Prof. Dr. D. MILLER (Stanford University)  

Nominated by the concertation structure Exact Sciences

  • Mr Burt RUTAN (member of the National Academy of Engineering, founder of Scaled Composites Incorporated, California)
  • Sir Patrick Stewart (actor)

Nominated by the faculty of Physical Education and Fysiotherapy

  • Prof. Dr. W. HOLLMAN (Keulen)
  • Prof. Dr. Med. I. CAPLAN (Universidade de Buenos Aires)
  • Prof. Dr. Em. J. DUMAZEDIER (Université René Descartes - Sorbonne, Paris)
  • Prof. Dr. J. POORTMANS (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
  • Prof. Dr. St. BLAIR (Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas - Texas)
  • Prof. Dr. M. SOLOMONOV (Louisiana State University, New Orleans)  
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas REILLY (John Moores University , Liverpool)

Nominated by Vesalius College

  • Prof. Dr. A. GIDDENS (University of Cambridge)

Prof. John Gurdon, British developmental biologist and known for his pioneering role in nuclear transplantation, cloning research and stem cell research, receiving his joint VUB-ULB honorary doctorate in December 2009.

Nominated by Université Libre de Bruxelles

  • Sir John B. Gurdon, University of Cambridge, Gurdon Institute