Press release

Aurélien Barrau, Esther Duflo, Zanele Muholi, honoris causa at the University of Liège

Academic year 2023

On the occasion of the Start of the Academic Year at ULiège, three academic personalities will receive honorary doctoral degrees on Tuesday 19th September 2023*.

Aurélien BARRAU

Astrophysicist and philosopher, poet, awareness-raiser for the protection of our planet

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Esther DUFLO

Economist, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, whose work focuses on development economics, poverty, health, education, access to credit and the fight against corruption

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Zanele Muholi

South African photographer and activist, campaigner for the LGBTQIA+ cause.

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For Rector Anne-Sophie Nyssen, the choice of these personalities is motivated by the desire to "reconcile Art and Science and to commit to re-enchanting our world".

She explains: "This century must once again bring together Art and Science - which for a long time were one and the same - to achieve the civilisational metamorphosis that will have to profoundly change our perceptions of the world and re-enchant it, as well as enabling the environmental and social transition that is vital to our survival".

"Art and science are essentially about us and our future. Reason and emotion, aesthetics and ethics, they structure the fundamental ways in which we perceive, feel and think about the world. Some artists and scientists have the talent to draw from this intimate coherence a commitment whose strength, clarity and sincerity arouse respect, even admiration. This is the case for the three personalities that the University of Liège will be honouring on 19 September.

The title of Doctor honoris causa is conferred by the Academic Council, which brings together all the professors who are members of the ULiège. Its decisions require a 2/3 majority.

*Esther Duflo will take part in a duplex. She will be at ULiège for a conference in March 2024.


ULiège Communications Department (0)4 366 48 28


Photo credits (from left to right): ©M.Chassepoux; ©Bryce Vickmark; ©Zanele Muholi

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