WUR historian Ewout Frankema receives Ammodo Science Award 2019

Published on
April 15, 2019

The Ammodo Science Award was presented for the third time on Thursday 11 April. Eight laureates received their award during the festive evening at the Amsterdam International Theater. The winners of the Ammodo Science Award 2019 are Teun Bousema and Jacco van Rheenen (Biomedical Sciences), Nadine Akkerman and Ewout Frankema (Humanities), Toby Kiers and Stephanie Wehner (Natural Sciences), Lenneke Alink and Birte Forstmann (Social Sciences). With the Ammodo Science Award these mid-career scientists each receive 300,000 euros to explore new avenues of fundamental scientific research.

The work of the laureates was highlighted during the evening in videos that provide insight into the field and the research of the laureates.

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Over the last century, globally, the gap between rich and poor has grown tremendously. But where did this gap come from? And will this inequality persist, or are things going to change in the future?
Prof. dr. Ann Rigney (Chair Advisory Committee Humanities)

Ann Rigney: "Ewout Frankema can't get these questions out of his mind. He researches the deep historical roots of the global prosperity gap. He looks at how certain countries got rich, but also why many countries remained poor. Ewout Frankema combines diverse historical sources, such as census data, wages, trade statistics and governmental reports. This gives him a better understanding of the ways in which economics change. For example, by looking at prices and wages over long periods of time, he gains insight into the development of the standard of living. His ground-breaking research sits on the intersection of historical sciences, social sciences and environmental sciences. This position gives him a unique perspective that allows him to reveal the process of long-term economic development, as well as the differences that exists between regions.

Through Ewout Frankema's work, we can learn how the disparity in our world came about. But more than this, his insights inform future scenarios and public opinion about poverty and development. The advisory committee is impressed by Ewout Frankema's vision and holistic approach. His trendsetting combination of disciplines allow him to ask innovative questions. This makes him a worthy winner of an Ammodo Science Award."