Honorary Doctorate for Ed Diener

Freie Universität Berlin to Honor Psychologist and Happiness Researcher on May 20, 2010

№ 138/2010 from May 11, 2010

The renowned American psychologist and happiness researcher, Ed Diener, will be granted an honorary doctorate on May 20, 2010, from Freie Universität Berlin. It will be conferred by the Department of Education and Psychology in recognition of Diener’s outstanding academic achievements in psychological research on happiness. On the same day at 2:30 p.m., a public symposium on “Well-being for Public Policy” will be held in honor of Dr. Diener. Interested parties are also welcome to attend the conferral ceremony at 5:00 p.m.

The event is being supported by the Socioeconomic Panel of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), the German Centre of Gerontology, and the science publisher Springer.

Note for journalists:

There will be an opportunity for short individual interviews with Prof. Dr. Ed Diener on Thursday, May 20, 2010, between 10 a.m. and 12 noon. Please make all interview requests by Tuesday, May 18, by e-mail to kommunikationsstelle@fu-berlin.de (Re: Interview Ed Diener). Appointment confirmation by the Office of News and Public Affairs of Freie Universität required. We ask for your understanding in advance that the number of interviews will be limited.

The symposium will focus on the issue of what criteria are used to assess the state of a society and to make political decisions: Scholars from various disciplines will discuss whether in addition to economic criteria such as the gross national product, aspects such as comfort and satisfaction should be taken into consideration. The talks will deal with such subjects as life satisfaction in old age, well-being in family and partnership, and the role of satisfaction of employees for their productivity. A panel discussion will be moderated by the renowned happiness sociologist Prof. Dr. Ruut Veenhoven (Erasmus University Rotterdam), the director of the World Database of Happiness.

The presentation speech for the honorary doctorate will be held by Dr. Ralf Schwarzer, professor of psychology at Freie Universität Berlin. The acceptance lecture will be held by Ed Diener in English on “Well-Being: What Science Teaches Us about Happiness.”

Ed Diener was born in 1946 in Glendale, California. He is the Joseph R. Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois (USA). With his work on well-being, life satisfaction, and happiness, Diener was influential in the increasing interest showed in the fields of psychology and related disciplines – e.g., sociology and economics – in selecting positive feelings as a research topic. In over 200 publications, he has described the conditions and consequences of subjective well-being as well as the social implications of research on well-being.

Prof. Diener is the president of the International Positive Psychology Association. He won the Distinguished Researcher Award from the International Society of Quality of Life Studies, the Gallup Academic Leadership Award, and the Block Award for Personality Psychology.

Time and Place:

  • Henry Ford Building, Freie Universität Berlin, Lecture Hall A, Garystraße 35, 14195 Berlin
    subway stop: Thielplatz (U3)
  • Honorary Symposium: Thursday, May 20, 2010, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Academic Ceremony: May 20, 5 p.m.

Further Information

Prof. Dr. Michael Eid, Dean
Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-55611, Email: michael.eid@fu-berlin.de