Introducing: Trudy Dehue

Introducing: Trudy Dehue

The first speaker of the forum “State of the Academy”, which takes place on 5 March, is Em. Prof. Trudy Dehue.

Dehue began her working life at the clinic for child psychiatry at the Academic Hospital in Groningen, but she soon decided to go to university to study psychology and philosophy of science. She obtained her doctorate (cum laude) in 1990, which led to a long career at the RUG department of psychology.

However, as Dehue grew displeased with the closedness of the academic debate, she chose to concentrate on writing books and articles for the general public. ‘De depressie-epidemie’ (2008) was chosen as one of the 15 best non-fiction works of the 21th century by NRC Handelsblad. Her next book, ‘Betere mensen’ (2014), garnered praise as well. In 2011, Dehue was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau for her “scientific merits as well as her contributions to the societal debate”.

Dehue will speak about ‘facts’ and ‘alternative facts’, and the need for transparent (one might even say democratic) decision making in science:

“Even the most thoroughly created facts are based on human definitions and decisions that, once quantified and implemented, can create quite hard realities. The measurement of poverty or mental disorders offer but two of many examples. Nevertheless, some facts are better than other ones – not so much because they more accurately mirror a pre-given reality but because they are more thoroughly warranted in a philosophical, ethical and social sense. The soft parts of science are the hardest part; even more so than numerical precision, deliberative precision constitutes the difference between ‘facts’ and ‘alternative’ facts.”

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