Pearl Dykstra in High Level Group of Scientific Advisors at the European Commission

Professor Pearl Dykstra, Sociologist from Erasmus University Rotterdam, has been appointed to the European Commission’s High Level Group of Scientific Advisors. The group of seven European top scientists is to use scientific insight to advise the Commission and so contribute to the quality of European regulations. The establishment of the High Level Group (HLG) marks the start of the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism.

Pearl Dykstra on her appointment: ‘The establishment of the High Level Group is a fantastic recognition of how important scientific research is for policy makers and politicians. I’m looking forward to collaborating with European commissioners - and of course also with the other six members of the High Level Group.’

Erasmus University Rotterdamis extremely honoured that one of its Professors has been appointed to this leading group of European scientists. Rector magnificus Huibert Pols: ‘This appointment is a special occasion for Professor Dykstra personally as well as for the Netherlands and for Erasmus University. It shows that our scientists are among the most prestigious in Europe. It also offers the opportunity to share social science theories at European Commission level, delivering a contribution to European policy development’.

Scientific Advice Mechanism

President Jean-Claude Juncker and Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, launched the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) in May 2015. With SAM the European Commission aims to create access to the best possible, independent, scientific advice and insights from various disciplines. The appointment of seven members of the High Level Group is the official launch of this. Members of the High Level Group are appointed for at least two-and-a-half years, with a one-time opportunity for reappointment. Over 160 scientists were proposed by 74 organisations.

An extensive European Commission press release can be found on:

About Pearl Dykstra

Dr. Pearl Dykstra has a chair in Empirical Sociology and is Director of Research of the Department of Public Administration and Sociology at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Previously, she had a chair in Kinship Demography at Utrecht University (2002-2009) and was a senior scientist at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) in The Hague (1990-2009).

Her publications focus on intergenerational solidarity, aging societies, family change, aging and the life course, and late-life well-being. She is an elected member of the Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW, 2004) and Vice-President of the KNAW as of 2011, elected Member of the Dutch Social Sciences Council (SWR, 2006), and elected Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (2010). In 2012 she received an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant for the research project “Families in context”, which will focus on the ways in which policy, economic, and cultural contexts structure interdependence in families.

More information

Marjolein Kooistra, press officer Faculty of Social Sciences, + 31 10 408 2135,

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