Eveline Crone appointed professor of Developmental Neuroscience in Society

Foto:Roemer Overdiep

Prof. Eveline Crone has been appointed professor of ‘Developmental Neuroscience in Society’ at the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB). The chair will focus on the future of the next generation. One aspect of this focus will be to understand how optimal opportunities can be created through using neuroscience methods. She also wants to integrate her research with issues we are currently facing in society. Professor Crone’s appointment at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) will commence on 1 April 2020.

Prof. Eveline Crone has a very impressive academic track record. For example, in 2017 she was the recipient of the Spinoza Prize, the highest award in Dutch science, for her research into the development of the brain during adolescence. She also won the 2017 Ammodo KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) Award as well as the 2018 KNAW Dr Hendrik Muller Prize for Behavioural and Social Sciences. She holds an important board position at European level as a member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC), a body comprised of 22 leading academics who determine the ERC’s funding strategy. ERC Scientific Council members are appointed by the European Commission. Starting 1 January 2020, she will take up her duties as ERC Vice-President for the domain of Social Sciences and Humanities.
She is known to the general public for her book 'Het puberende brein’ (The adolescent brain) and film ‘Hersenen in Groei’ (Braintime: Discovering the developing brain). 

Rector Magnificus Rutger Engels is enthusiastic about Eveline Crone’s arrival at Erasmus University. ‘Not only is she a phenomenal scientist, she has a strong personality and sense of ethics. She is someone capable of forging connections, and she has demonstrated that leadership is both making a name for yourself while also being committed to a strong team focus. In addition to all this, she has a strong position and vision when it comes to national and international science policy.’

Development of young people
Eveline Crone conducts research into how we can relate the dynamic brain development that takes place from birth to young adulthood to how young people relate to themselves and others. In this research, she specialises in adolescence: the period between childhood and adulthood. During this phase of their lives, young people develop relationships outside of the family context, they develop and alter their self-image, and they make a multitude of choices that have bearing on how they will continue their education, their profession, and their position in society. At EUR, she wants to integrate her research with the issues we are currently facing in society. How can we prepare youth for the future, how do we harness the enormous creative potential of the new generation, and how do we establish a connection between science and society?

‘I can’t think of a better place to conduct this research than Erasmus University Rotterdam, a place where top-level international research is directly connected with society’s issues and challenges. EUR works on the basis of various scientific and societal missions, using co-creation, living labs and citizen science. It’s truly a dream come true for scholars in the social sciences to have the opportunity to work in this environment. I’m very proud of the fact that starting now, I’ll have the chance to contribute to all this.’ said Eveline Crone on her appointment at EUR.

Excellent interdisciplinary research connected to society
As an outstanding researcher, professor Crone embodies the course EUR has taken the past two years where there is an increased focus on the development of interdisciplinary research programmes. At ESSB, her knowledge in the area of neuroscience will be connected with behaviour and social context. This will enable her to bridge the gap between psychology and educational sciences in aspects dealing with the development of children and youth and the social context in which they grow up. Her research is also relevant when it comes to enhancing the collaboration between ESSB and Erasmus MC in the Generation R research study. The high degree of importance that Professor Crone attaches to research that has an impact on society also makes for a good fit with ESSB’s DNA. Her research demonstrates that research excellence can go hand in hand with impact on society. For professor Crone, the relationships with the city and region of Rotterdam offer the perfect opportunity to further explore ‘citizen science’. Dean Prof. Victor Bekkers commented, ‘Her extensive scientific knowledge, interdisciplinary approach and engagement with society complements ESSB’s ambitions, and that’s why I’m very proud to be welcoming her to our faculty’.

About Eveline Crone
Prof. Eveline Crone graduated cum laude in Developmental Psychology from the University of Amsterdam. After finishing her PhD, she spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California at Davis. In 2009 she was appointed professor in Neurocognitive Developmental Psychology at Leiden University. Since 2013, she has been a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).
In September 2017, she was the recipient of the Spinoza Prize for her research into brain development during adolescence.

In 2008 she was awarded both the J.C. Ruigrok Award and the Junior Heymans Award for her post-doctoral research. In 2009, the Minister of Education presented Crone with the Huibregtsen Award for Excellence in Science and Communication. She received the Early Career Award from the Society for Psychophysiological Research in Boston (USA) in 2011. In January 2017 she was awarded the Ammodo KNAW Award and in 2018 the KNAW Dr Hendrik Muller Prize for Behavioural and Social Sciences.

She has been a member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC) since 2017. This is one of the most important pillars of the European Framework programme, with a mission to fund excellence-driven frontier research. Starting 1 January 2020, she will be Vice-President in charge of the Social Sciences and Humanities domain.

Crone has been awarded a number of important research grants, including Veni, Vidi and Vici grants from the Dutch Research Council (NWO), and two grants from the European Research Council (ERC): a Starting Grant in 2010 and a Consolidator Grant in 2016. She is one of the participating researchers in the NWO Gravitation Programme ‘Consortium Individual Development’ (a project running from 2013-2023 with Utrecht University as the lead institution).

In 2018 she published a fully revised edition of the Dutch-language book ‘Het puberende brein’ for a wider audience. To date, more than 100,000 copies have been sold, and the book has been translated into six languages. For youth, she developed the website Kijk in je brein. This website was developed in collaboration with experts in youth communication. The website is a place where youth can obtain information for oral presentations and their subject combination projects.

At the launch of the Dutch Science Agenda (NWA), Eveline Crone was named as one of the standard-bearers for the NeurolabNL route, which will explore the theme ‘Brain, cognition and behaviour: learning to develop and grow’.

More information

Marjolein Kooistra, press officer ESSB, E-mail: kooistra@essb.eur.nl Tel: + 31 10 408 2135 | + 31 6 83676038 | +31 10 4081216