The Hans Kilian Award 2017 went to Prof. Dr. Jaan Valsiner from the University of Aalborg (Denmark)
Prof. Dr. Jaan Valsiner, a researcher whose work has gained the highest international recognition in the field of interdisciplinary cultural psychology, was awarded the Hans Kilian Award in 2017. His developmental and social psychological research, including his innovative contributions to theory and method development, have had a worldwide impact for several decades, which is reflected in numerous international guest professorships, e.g. in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Estonia, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and the Netherlands. Valsiner’s interdisciplinary research on human development was honored in 1995 with the Alexander von Humboldt Prize. For his services to internationally oriented teaching he received the Senior Fulbright Lecturing Award in Brazil (1995-1997).
In addition to his excellent scientific achievements that cover a broad thematic spectrum, Valsiner’s outstanding contribution to the institutionalisation of cultural psychology must be highlighted. This contribution is reflected in cooperation across countries and continents, in the design and implementation of internationally sought-after study programs, and in an extraordinary commitment to the promotion of young researchers. In addition, Valsiner founded “Culture & Psychology” (Sage) which is currently the most influential cultural psychological journal; he is also the managing editor of “Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Sciences” (Springer). In addition, he has published influential handbooks, such as the “Cambridge Handbook of Socio-Cultural Psychology” (2007, together with Alberto Rosa) and the “Oxford Handbook of Culture and Psychology” (2012).
Jaan Valsiner is being recognised as a multifaceted scientist who fulfils the criteria for the Hans Kilian Award 2017 in an outstanding manner. According to the award committee of the Köhler Foundation, Valsiner is an internationally renowned scholar whose broad education, undogmatic openness and extraordinary productivity fit in perfectly with the spirit of Hans Kilian’s work and objectives.
After completing his doctorate at Tartu University in Estonia, Valsiner accepted professorships in the USA, first at the University of North Carolina and later at Clark University in Worcester to which he is still affiliated today. Since 2013 he has been Niels Bohr Professor of Cultural Psychology in the Department of Communication and Psychology at Aalborg University in Denmark. At present, the Centre for Cultural Psychology, conceived and managed by Valsiner, is active in four areas equally relevant to the profile of the Hans Kilian Prize: cultural psychology and aesthetics in urban life, creativity processes in everyday social practices, interventions in the globalised world and the philosophy of the social sciences.
The fourth festive Hans Kilian Award ceremony took place on 28 April 2017 in the event centre of the Ruhr University Bochum.
The scientific colloquium with the awardee took place before the official award ceremony