Honorary doctorates – University of Copenhagen

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Research > Prizes and awards > Honorary doctorates

Honorary doctorates

Honorary doctorates are the highest academic accolade that the University confers without the recipient first having defended a doctoral thesis in Denmark.

Honorary doctorates in 2016

At the Annual Commemoration on 18 November 2016, the University of Copenhagen conferred honorary doctorates on:

University Professor Dr. Dr. h.c.
Michael Lang
Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law
Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria

Distinguished Professor of World Religions
Michael D. Jackson
Divinity School, Harvard University, USA

Professor Dr. med.
Michael A. Nauck
Medical Department I
Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany

Professor Dame
Janet Thornton
The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), UK

Honorary doctorates 2006-2015

Honorary doctorates 2015

Professor Dale B. Martin
Department of Religious Studies, Yale University, USA

Professor Gilles Kepel
Paris Institute of Political Studies, France

Professor Sianne Ngai
Department of English, Stanford University, USA

Professor Amira Klip
The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Canada

Professor Cathie R. Martin
John Innes Center, UK

Honorary doctorates 2014

Senior Professor Laurence Helfer
Duke Law School, Duke University, USA

Professor Eivind Smith
Faculty of Law, University of Oslo, Norway

Professor Quentin Skinner
School of History, University of London, UK
Political Science

Senior Scientist Eric Gouaux
Vollum Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, USA
Pharmaceutical science

Professor Camilla Stoltenberg
Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care
University of Bergen, Norway

Honorary doctorates 2013

Professor Niels Jørgen Cappelørn  
Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre
University of Copenhagen

Ronald M. Kaplan
Senior Director and Distinguished Scientist at Nuance Communications and Consulting Professor of Linguistics at Stanford University 
Palo Alto, USA

Professor Will Kymlicka 
Department of Philosophy
Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada

Rector Lisa Sennerby Forsse 
Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden

Dr. Peter Jenni 
Physics Department
CERN, Geneva, Switzerland

Honorary doctorates 2012

Professor Asbjørn Kjønstad
Institutt for offentlig rett 
Universitetet i Oslo, Norway

Professor William A. Schabas 
Department of Law Middlesex 
University of London, UK

Professor Gøsta Esping-Andersen 
Departamento de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales 
Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spanien

Professor Shitij Kapur 
Institute of Psychiatry 
King´s College London, UK

Professor Gunnar Lindahl
Department of Laboratory Medicine 
Lund University, Sweden

Honorary doctorates 2011

Professor Eike Wolgast
Historisches Seminar,
Universität Heidelberg, Germany

Professor Peter Burke 
Emmanuel College 
University of Cambridge, UK

Professor Nikolas Coupland 
Cardiff Scholl of English, Communication 
University of Wales, Cardiff, UK

Professor Doris Jorde 
Institutt for lærerutdanning og skoleforskning 
Universitetet i Oslo, Norway

Professor Lars Mathiassen 
Department of Computer Information Systems 
Georgia State University, USA

Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber 
Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung, Potsdam, Germany

Professor Nico P. E. Vermeulen 
Faculteit der Exacte Wetenschappen Vrije 
Universiteit Amsterdam, Holland
Pharmaceutical science

Professor Harold Steve White 
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology 
University of Utah, USA
Pharmaceutical science

Honorary doctorates 2010

Professor Bernard N. Grofman 
Department of Political Science & Center for the Study of Democracy 
University of California, Irvine, USA
Political Science

Professor Norman Sartorius 
Association for the Improvement of Mental Health Programmes 
University of Zagreb, Kroatien

Professor Wendy L. Havran  
Department of Immunology
The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA

Professor James Matthew Robins 
Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics 
Harvard School of Public Health 
Harvard University, USA

Professor Donald F. Steiner 
Howard Hughes Medical Institute 
University of Chicago, USA

Professor Anne Cooke 
Department of Pathology 
University of Cambridge, UK
Veterinary science

Professor Wangari Muta Maathai
Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies
University of Nairobi, Kenya
Agricultural science

Professor Gunnar Öquist 
Institutionen för fysiologisk botanik 
Umeå universitet, Sweden

Honorary doctorates 2009

Professor Carol A. Newsom  
Candler School of Theology
Emory University, Atlanta, USA

Professor Alister Cumming 
Modern Language Centre 
University of Toronto, Canada

Professor Patricia Crone 
School of Historical Studies 
Institute for Advanced Study 
Princeton, USA

Professor Ingvild Sælid Gilhus 
Institutt for arkeologi, historie, kulturvitenskap og religionsvitenskap
Universitetet i Bergen, Norway

Professor Jane Lubchenco
Under Secretary of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Washington D.C., USA

Professor Mark A. Ratner 
Department of Chemistry 
Northwestern University, Evanston, USA

Professor Richard W. Olsen 
Department of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology 
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
Pharmaceutical Science

Honorary doctorates 2008

Professor emeritus Frances Raday
Faculty of Law
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Professor emeritus Thomas J. Scheff
Department of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Professor Peter Bordier Høj
The University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Professor C. Ronald Kahn
Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, USA

Professor Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale
Institute for Cancer Research
Norwegian Radium Hospital, Norway

Professor Jayaprakash Muliyil
Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore, India

Honorary doctorates 2007

Jens Birch Lyster (dr.theol. h.c.)
M. A. Mohamed Salih (dr.theol. h.c.)
Gustav Konrad von Schultess (dr.med. h.c.)
John W. Lynch (dr.med. h.c.)
Kirsten Sandvig (dr.med. h.c.)
Paolo Matthiae (dr.phil. h.c.)
Orvar Löfgren (dr.phil. h.c.)
Nicoletta Calzolari Zamorani (dr.phil. h.c.)
H. Jeff Kimble (dr.scient. h.c.)
Michael Clark (dr.scient. h.c.)
Professor Patricia Vertinsky (dr.scient. h.c.)
Karin Birte Svensson (dr.scient. h.c.)
Katrin Hinrichs (dr.scient. h.c.)
Magni Martens (dr.scient. h.c.)
Graham A.R. Johnston (dr.scient. h.c.)

Honorary doctorates 2006

Ingolf U. Dalferth, (dr.theol. h.c.)
Viggo Hagstrøm, (dr.jur. h.c.)
Kaarlo Tuori (dr.jur. h.c.)
Yihai Cao (dr.med. h.c.)
Benjamin Rampton (dr.phil. h.c.)
Erika Fischer-Lichte (dr.phil. h.c.)
Riccardo Giacconi (dr.scient. h.c.)
Timothy Wallington (dr.scient. h.c.)


Honorary doctorates 1927-2005

About the Honorary Doctorate degree

To qualify for consideration, it is a prerequisite that the individual concerned has conducted extensive and significant research of high international quality.

The vast majority of honorary doctorates are conferred on non-Danish scientists who, as visiting teachers or through international research collaboration, have played a significant role in research and researcher training at the University of Copenhagen.

Researchers and research environments at the University of Copenhagen nominate candidates for honorary doctorates. The academic councils of the faculties concerned then recommend selected nominees to the Rector for final approval.

Award ceremony

In accordance with historic tradition, the individual recipients are formally proposed (promoted) during a short speech by a dean (promoter). This takes place at the University’s annual commemoration ceremony, at which the Rector, on the University’s behalf, proclaims them honorary doctors. The new doctors are then presented with an honorary doctorate certificate in Latin, signed by the Rector and the appropriate dean.

Read more about the rules and nomination procedure