Honorary doctor diploma from 1946.

About the honorary doctoral degree at Aarhus University

The honorary doctoral degree is awarded to researchers who are deemed to have achieved such outstanding scientific results that it is considered natural to honour them with the highest academic degree.

A majority of Aarhus University’s honorary doctors have been/are internationally recognised foreign researchers who – as visiting scholars or through international research partnerships – have had a significant impact on the research and learning environment at Aarhus University.

The first honorary doctors at Aarhus University were appointed on 11 September 1946 at the formal inauguration of the university’s new main building.

(Report on ‘Aarhus University’s Inaugural and Promotion Ceremony’ (1946) is found in Acta Jutlandica XIX,1 (U4)) and can be read here (pdf, 2 MB).

During the first decades, mainly researchers from Scandinavia were appointed honorary doctors – including Danish research enthusiasts. But as the university became increasingly integrated in an ever more globalised research environment, the entire international research community was included.

Up until 2007, honorary doctors were only appointed in connection with anniversary celebrations and on very special occasions. But since 2007, appointments of honorary doctors have formed part of Aarhus University’s annual celebration.

In principle, the list comprises all honorary doctors at Aarhus University since 1946, including honorary doctors appointed at institutions that have merged with Aarhus University.

Honorary doctors in 2011.
From the promotion ceremony in 1953.
AU’s first honorary doctors in 1946.

Fortegnelse over æresdoktorer ved Aarhus Universitet


ARTS: Professor James Phelan, Department of English, Ohio State University      

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Professor Pankaj K. Agarwal, Department of Computer Science, Duke University, USA

HEALTH: Professor Sander Greenland, Department of Epidemiology, UCLA School of Public Health, USA

BUSINESS ANS SOCIAL SCIENCES: Professor David F. Hendry, Department of Economics, University of Oxford


ARTS: Professor Isabelle Stengers, Université Libre de Bruxelles >

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Professor James W. Hicks, University of California >

HEALTH: Professor Andreas Engel, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland >

BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES: Professor David C. Rubin, Duke University (business and social sciences) >


ARTS: Professor Francis Fukuyama >

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Professor George M. Whitesides >

HEALTH SCIENCES: Professor Timothy Alan Springer >




HUM: Professor Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Division of Literature, Cultures and Languages at Stanford University, USA

SUN: Professor Pierre J. Verroust, UMRS 592, Institut de la Vision, Paris, Frankrig

TEO: Professor Friedrich Wilhelm Graf, indehaver af lærestolen i systematisk teologi og etik ved Ludwig Maximillians Universitet i München, Tyskland

NAT: Professor Robert E. Ricklefs, Department of Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, USA

SAM/ASB: Professor emeritus William Richard Scott, Stanford University, USA

ASB: Professor Jan-Benedict E.M. Steenkamp, University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill, USA

DJF: Professor Daniel Gianola, College of Agricultural & Life Sciences, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA



HUM: Professor Georges Kleiber, l’Université Marc Bloch de Strasbourg

SUN: Doktor Mark Alan Knepper, MD, Laboratory of Kidney and Electrolyte Matebolism (LKEM), USA

SUN: Professor Thomas Willnow, de medicinske fakulteter ved Berlins universiteter

SAM: Professor Neil Shephard, Nuffield College/Oxford-Man Institute, Oxford University

SAM: Dommer Peer Lorenzen, Den Europæiske Menneskerettighedsdomstol

NAT: Professor Irving A. Mendelssohn, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA

ASB: Professor Theodor Baums, Institut for Jura og Finansiering, Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität i Frankfurt

DPU: Professor emeritus i almen pædagogik Dietrich Benner, Humboldt Universitetet, Berlin



HUM: Professor, Dr. Heinrich Detering, Seminar für Deutsche Philologie, Georg-August Universität, Göttingen

SUN: Professor Salvador Moncada, direktør for The Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, University College London

DPU/SAM: Professor emerita Jean Lave, University of California, Berkeley

TEO: Professor Bernhard Lang, Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität Paderborn

NAT: Professor Kurt Mehlhorn, Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik, Universität des Saarlandes

NAT: Sir Alan Roy Fersht, Director of the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering and Professor of Organic Chemistry at University of Cambridge, UK



NAT: Professor Bai Chunli, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chief Scientist for the National Steering Committee for Nanoscience and Technology in China and Director of the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of China

NAT: Professor Yang Huanming, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences


AARHUS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: Professor, Ph.d. Edvard P. Lazear



HUM: Professor Rom Harre, University of Oxford

SUN: Professor K.G.M.M. Alberti, University of Newcastle

SAM: Professor Robert Keohane, Duke University

TEO: Professor Kurt Rudolph, Philipps-Universität Marburg

NAT: Professor Robert Milner, University of Cambridge



SUN: Bodil Schmidt-Nielsen

SUN: Timothy Prout


AARHUS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: Professor Herbert Ernst Wiegand


SAM: Ulrich Neisser

SUN: Christoph E. Broelsch


TEO: A.M. Allchin


AARHUS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: Professor, dr.oecon. Vagn Madsen
AARHUS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: Professor, dr. Wolfram Wilss
AARHUS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: Professor, Phd. Arthur Stonehill


SUN: Halfdan Mahler

SUN: Ian Michael Glynn

HUM: Eugenio Barba

SAM: Mogens Munch

TEO: Rudolf Arendt

NAT: Olaf Holm


SAM: Thorkil Kristensen


SAM: Erik Ib Schmidt


HUM: Bernhardt Jensen

HUM: Eli Fisher-Jørgensen

HUM: Carl Heinrich Petersen

HUM: Karl Stackmann

HUM: David Wilson

SUN: Mogens Fog

SUN: Johannes Clemmesen

SAM: Stein Rokkan

TEO: Gustaf Wingren

TEO: Jacob Jervell

NAT: Ralph Alger Bagnold

NAT: Max Perutz


HUM: Louis L. Hammerich

HUM: Morten Borup

HUM: Erik Lönnroth

SUN: Jan Jansen

SUN: Jörgen Lehmann/Jørgen Lehmann

NAT: Haldor Topsøe


HUM: Emanuel Sejr


HUM: H.P. Hansen


Niels Bohr (appointed by the Dean of NAT, but Honorary Doctor of Philosophy)


HUM: Sverre Steen

HUM: Axel Lindvald


HUM: Viggo Thorlacius-Ussing

HUM: Joseph Vendryes

HUM: Bruno Snell

SUN: H.C. Hagedorn

SUN: P. Boysen-Jensen

SAM: Hans Chr. Plessing

SAM: Axel H. Pedersen

TEO: Ragnar Bring


HUM: Holger Pedersen

HUM: Peter Holm

HUM: Curt Weibull

HUM: Francis Bull

SUN: Knud Faber

SAM: Bertil Ohlin

SAM: Frederik Zeuthen

TEO: Oskar Andersen