Universiteit Leiden

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The World Cultural Council (WCC) is an international organisation based in Mexico. Since 1984 the WCC has held an annual Award Ceremony granting prizes to outstanding scientists, educators and artists whose breakthroughs in the fields of knowledge, learning and research have contributed positively to the cultural enrichment of mankind. This year the WCC Award Ceremony is organised by Leiden University.

At the event, the Albert Einstein World Award of Science and the Leonardo World Award of Arts will be conferred on eminent pioneers in their respective fields in honour of their tireless efforts to advance human culture and well-being. In 2015, Professor Ewine van Dishoeck from Leiden University, an expert in Molecular Astrophysics, was selected for the Albert Einstein World Award of Science for her contribution to understanding the universe at the atomic level.

About WCC

The objectives of the WCC are to promote scholarship, art and culture and to foster fraternity among people, nations and governments, based on mutual respect for the ideology, religion, race, and gender.

One of the means of achieving these objectives is by granting the Albert Einstein World Award of Science, the José Vasconcelos World Award of Education and the Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts to outstanding individuals or organisations whose work has had a significant and positive impact on the cultural enrichment of mankind.

The WCC annually organises an Award Ceremony at which these recognitions are conferred. Each ceremony is held in a different country with a renowned university or academic institute acting as host.

In rewarding outstanding individuals, the World Cultural Council pays tribute to their remarkable achievements as well as their relentless persistence. Their hard-earned breakthroughs in the fields of knowledge, learning and creativity have rendered an invaluable service to mankind and improved the welfare of all of us who share this planet.

Since its foundation in 1981, the dedicated work of their members has produced a long list of distinguished award-winners, selected on the basis of a careful evaluation of their merits.

About Leiden University

As a venue, Leiden University is a fitting setting for recognising the outstanding achievements of the award winners and celebrating the inspiration that they bring as role models for encouraging a fairer society by motivating one individual at a time.

The main reason why Leiden University is organising the 2017 Award Ceremony is that it fully subscribes to the principles and objectives of the WCC. We were also very proud of the fact that the Albert Einstein World Award of Science was granted to one of our faculty, Professor Ewine van Dishoeck, in 2015.

Leiden University was founded in 1575 and is one of Europe’s leading international research universities. It has seven faculties in the arts, sciences and social sciences, spread over locations in Leiden and The Hague. The University has over 6,500 staff members and 26,900 students. The motto of the University is 'Praesidium Libertatis' – Bastion of Freedom.

The WCC and Leiden University are enthusiastic about this new partnership. It offers the opportunity to jointly disseminate their many shared values, including 1) excellence as a guiding principle in research, innovation and higher education, 2) inspiring future generations by recognising extraordinary individuals and achievements, and 3) embracing a vision of diversity and mutual respect with a view to creating a better world. 

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