Women shine in academia: two female researchers win prestigious Franco-Dutch award

On November 8, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Embassy of France in the Netherlands and the Académie des Sciences announced that the 2018 Descartes-Huygens Prize would be awarded to French art conservation researcher Marine Cotte and Dutch literary scholar Katell Lavéant. The € 23,000 award makes it possible for them to continue their respective research collaborations.

Marine Cotte, researcher at the French National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS), develops new technologies to examine works of art and archaeological objects. Her research is extremely valuable as it provides the basis for managing and protecting important examples of cultural heritage.

In her latest research project, called ‘Sammelband’, Katell Lavéant, who is associate professor of French language and culture at Utrecht University, aims to develop new methods for studying collections of early printed books. This could shed a light on what ‘the common people’ read during and after the Renaissance, and how they acquired knowledge. 

The Descartes-Huygens Prize was established by the French and Dutch governments in 1995 to recognize researchers for their outstanding work and their contribution to Franco-Dutch relations. The 2018 Descartes-Huygens Prize will be presented to both the Dutch and French laureates at an award ceremony to be held in Amsterdam in early 2019.