On Friday 29 November 2013, Professor Leo van den Berg will be delivering his farewell lecture titled 'Formulating Theory by Looking at the Facts: The Importance of Ongoing Interaction Between Theory and Practice in a Social Science'. The lecture will be open to the public. In his address, professor Van den Berg will reflect on more than four decades of research and education in regional and urban economics and urban management.
Time and location
The farewell lecture will take place in the Auditorium of Erasmus University Rotterdam (Woudestein campus) and will start at 16.00 hrs.
About the lecture
He explains that “formulating theory by looking at the facts” has always been his guiding principle in the research he has conducted as part of his chair in Regional Economics and Urban Development at Erasmus School of Economics. Central to this approach has always been a commitment to facilitating interaction between Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) and society. This approach helps researchers identify new trends in urban development at an early stage, thereby enabling them to constantly update their research agendas with innovative and socially relevant research topics.
Leo van den Berg will demonstrate some of the research to which this method has led him over the years. Since 1988, he has been conducting his research at the EUR-affiliated European Institute for Comparative Urban Research (Euricur), of which he serves as director. The findings from the numerous studies he has conducted throughout his career have resulted in a variety of academic publications and doctoral research. In addition, these international comparative studies always resulted in specific policy recommendations, formulated based on the notion of “Think global, act local”. This approach - which places society at the heart of the research - has also resulted in the establishment of new educational programmes, including one in Urban Management.
With more than 70% of the global population projected to be living in urban areas by 2050, the need for continued investment in research in urban management cannot be overestimated, according to Professor Van den Berg. Leo van den Berg will conclude his lecture with the observation that Erasmus University Rotterdam will need to continue playing a leading role in this area, especially now that acclaimed magazine Wired has stated that “Urban policy is among the top 10 hottest fields of scientific research for the years to come.”