Prof. Patti Valkenburg has been appointed University Professor of Media, Youth and Society by the Executive Board of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The appointment is effective from 1 May 2013. Valkenburg is currently distinguished research professor of Youth and Media at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences of the UvA.
The use of digital media has grown explosively in recent years. Young people are particularly heavy users of digital technologies like Youtube, Facebook and Instagram. In her role as University Professor, Valkenburg will focus on the turbulent changes in the digital media landscape and its implications for individuals and society.
A monodisciplinary approach is inadequate when seeking to understand the impact of the changes in the contemporary media landscape. Valkenburg’s research is characterised by an approach encompassing various scientific disciplines, including psychology, child development and communication science.
Prof. Patti M. Valkenburg (1958) has been Professor of Youth and Media at the UvA since 1998. In 2011, she was appointed distinguished research professor. She is founder and director of the Center for Research on Children, Adolescents and the Media (CcaM). In 2003, she received a Vici grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and she received an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) in 2009. She was awarded the prestigious NWO Spinoza Prize, the highest scientific prize in the Netherlands, in 2011. In 2012, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) awarded a ‘Gravitation’ grant worth 27.6 million euros for the research project Individual Development: Why some children thrive, and others do not, a collaborative project in the Netherlands for which Valkenburg is one of the five principal researchers. Valkenburg is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).
Valkenburg conducts research into theories that can explain the cognitive, emotional and social effects of media. Last year, the scientific journal Communication Education announced that Valkenburg was the most productive communication scientist in Europe. She established and developed the Youth and Media discipline at the UvA. Under her leadership, the CcaM has become the largest research centre of its kind in the world. As a University Professor, Valkenburg will strive to further expand the interdisciplinary orientation and the international scientific role of CcaM.
The role of University Professors is to give impetus to academic developments that transcend traditional disciplines and to make an important contribution to the profiling of the University. The University Professors are not linked to a particular discipline or faculty. Besides Patti Valkenburg, the UvA has six other University Professors: Johan van Benthem, Robbert Dijkgraaf, Louise Fresco, Ad Lagendijk, Alexander Rinnooy Kan and Henk van Os.