Professor Paul Schnabel, Director of The Netherlands Institute for Social Research:
"The University must have eye for social developments"
Paul Schnabel is sociologist and has been Director of The Netherlands Institute for Social Research in The Hague since 1998. After having held various chairs at Utrecht University, he was appointed Distinguished Professor of Utrecht University in 2002. “Utrecht University must have an eye for social developments. Raising awareness for this aspect is one of my tasks as distinguished professor.”
“Holding one of 9 Distinguished Professor chairs of Utrecht University is an honour and a post which I can fill in a way which fits my beliefs best. I have been appointed for 1 day a week. I deliver lectures, mainly to students of governance, and I supervise PhD candidates who conduct research into a diversity of subjects. Apart from that, I represent Utrecht University at quite a number of institutes, for instance the Descartes Centre, the Studium Generale and the Vrede van Utrecht (Treaty of Utrecht).”
“As Director of The Netherlands Institute for Social Research, I focus on the interface of politics, society, science and policy. The relationship between these fields is my daily work and also often the subject of my lectures, in which I describe major social developments, such as individualisation or striving for equality. Furthermore, I also outline how politics deals with research and how decision-making processes work in government and parliament.”
“Utrecht University has given me many opportunities to develop my talents. In 1973, I graduated in sociology from Utrecht University and was appointed Professor of Clinical Psychology in 1986 at the same university, which was quite remarkable. I have always engaged in a broad range of subjects and upon my appointment had been working already for many years as head of the research department of the Trimbos Institute, the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction.
Utrecht has been my university for 40 years now, of which I have been one of its professors for 20 years. Quite a strong relationship.”