Rens Bod, Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Amsterdam, recently received two academic awards: the Francqui Medal and a medal from Ghent University. He is awarded the honours as holder of the International Francqui Chair, which he held at Ghent University from February to June 2021. The chair is intended for high-level researchers who are highly active in their professional field.
Bod was nominated as a candidate by the faculties of Arts and Philosophy of the universities of Ghent and Antwerp. They recognised him as the 'uomo universale of the 21st century' and saw him as the perfect candidate because of his unprecedented ability to connect various disciplines - both alpha and beta - such as history of science, computational linguistics and musicology, and his use of digital tools. Bod's arrival inspired reflections on the future and the integration of the humanities in relation to technology and society, says Gita Deneckere, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy at Ghent University.
As Professor of Digital Humanities and History of the Humanities at the UvA, Bod studies the humanities from both computational and historical perspectives. In 2019, he published the successful book Een wereld vol patronen ('A World Full of Patterns'), in which he discusses the history of human knowledge from a broad spectrum of disciplines.
As holder of the Francqui Chair, Bod actively participated in the scientific programme of the departments involved. He also dedicated himself to the training of young scientists at Belgian universities engaged in his disciplines, by giving seminars and lectures in the so-called 'Class of excellence'.