In accordance with Article 2 of the constitution of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation concerning the annual award of one or more prizes to honour individuals or organisations whose contributions in the cultural, social or social science fields have been of outstanding importance to Europe, His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands confirmed the decision of the Board of the Foundation to award the Praemium Erasmianum for technology and society for the year nineteen eighty seven to Alexander King.

The prize is being awarded to Alexander King

  • because he opened the eyes of the governments of industrialised countries to the necessity of incorporating science and technology policy as an essential element of public responsibility;
  • because he commissioned various studies to be carried out on the subject of the strongly increased impact of science and technology on society and concieved the so-called Science Policy Surveys, critical surveys of the state of affairs in science and technology in member-states of the OECD;
  • because at a point in time that the general public and the world of politicians were hardly aware of any problems, he took initiatives to create awareness about the rapidly growing necessity to combat pollution;
  • because he emphasized at an early stage that in a world, shrunk in size by advances in transportation and communication technology, problems can no longer be viewed in the isolated framework of a single nation, but have to be studied within the framework of the total world;
  • because he was one of the most important auctores intellectuales of the problématique brought forward by the Club of Rome while stressing that progress should not be pursued at any price.