Pearl Dykstra is Professor of Empirical Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam and former Deputy Chair of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors to the Cabinet of European Commissioners. Pearl Dykstra was appointed chair of Empirical Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2009. Previously, she had a chair in Kinship Demography at Utrecht University and was a senior scientist at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) in The Hague. She was director of research of the Department of Public Administration and Sociology at the EUR between 2015 and 2019.
She is the Scientific Director of ODISSEI, the Open Data Infrastructure for Social Science and Economics Innovations in the Netherlands, which received Netherlands Roadmap for Large-scale Scientific Infrastructure funding in 2020. She is the director of the research theme on societal preparedness of the Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness Centre, a joint initiative of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Erasmus Medical Centre, and the Technical University Delft.
She is an internationally regarded specialist on intergenerational solidarity, aging societies, family change, aging and the life course, and loneliness. In 2012 she received an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant for the research project “Families in context”, which focused on the ways in which policy, economic, and cultural contexts structure intergenerational and gendered dependencies in families. Other large scale projects for which she has been awarded grants include the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study (NKPS) and the EU 7th Framework programme MULTILINKS. She is an elected member of the Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW, 2004) and served as Vice-President from 2011-2016. She was an elected member of the Dutch Social Sciences Council (SWR) from 2006-2016. In 2010 she was elected as fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, and in 2016 as fellow of Academia Europaea. She was appointed to the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors to the Cabinet of European Commissioners in 2015, served as its deputy chair between 2016 and 2019, and currently serves as expert to the European Commission. She became a member of the Board of the Social Sciences and Humanities Division of NWO in 2016. Between 2017 and 2021 she served on the Governing Board of the International Science Council (ICS). For more information on her research, please visit the following websites: ODISSEI; Families in Context; Multilinks; Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness Centre