Pope Francis presents the Ratzinger Prize to UNDA academic Tracey Rowland during a ceremony at the Vatican, 13 November 2021. Tracey has this week been appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS), becoming the second Australian ever to receive the honour. Photo: CNS/Vatican Media.
University of Notre Dame Australia research academic Tracey Rowland has been appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS), becoming the second Australian ever to receive the honour.
The 10-year appointment to the prestigious international research academy is a recognition of Rowland's outstanding contribution to research and will allow her to collaborate with some of the world's leading Catholic scholars in Europe.
As a leading scholar in theology and social theory, Rowland's appointment to the PASS is not only a great achievement for her personally, but also for Notre Dame, which is renowned for its high-quality research.
"It's a recognition of the quality of the research that is undertaken at Notre Dame and especially its value to the Catholic community," Rowland said.
Rowland expressed her delight at the news, saying the appointment would allow her to do more interdisciplinary work and return to some of her earliest academic interests.
"It's an opportunity to collaborate with some of the greatest Catholic scholars in Europe," she said.
"I already do a lot of work with American Catholic scholars and people from Latin America, but this appointment with help me get to know the Europeans better."
The appointment will also help ensure Australian academics are not isolated from the wider Catholic world, according to Rowland.
"Australian academics need to travel internationally if they are not to become cut off from what's happening in universities in Europe and other parts of the Anglosphere," she said.
As a leading scholar in theology and social theory, Rowland's appointment to the PASS is not only a great achievement for her personally, but also for Notre Dame, which is renowned for its high-quality research. Photo: Supplied/UNDA
The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences is an internationally renowned research academy established by Pope John Paul II in 1994.
Its mission is to promote the study of social sciences - primarily economics, sociology, law and political science - in the light of Catholic social doctrine.
Also named to the Academy, was US sociologist Justin Farrell and Tongdong Bai, a Chinese philosopher.
Justin Farrell, who was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1983, is a professor of sociology at Yale University's School of the Environment. He completed his doctorate degree in sociology at the University of Notre Dame.
He specialises in "American culture with a focus on social class, moral conflict, epistemology and the environment," according to his personal website.
He also carries out "ethnographic fieldwork in rural communities with large-scale computational techniques from network science and machine learning."
He has published numerous books and articles; his latest research article appeared in the academic journal "Science" looking at the "effects of land dispossession and forced migration on Indigenous peoples in North America."
Tongdong Bai, who was born in Beijing in 1970, is the Dongfang Chair professor of philosophy at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and a global professor of law at New York University's Law School.
He has degrees in nuclear physics and the philosophy of science from Beijing University and he completed his doctorate degree in philosophy from Boston University. He taught philosophy at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
He specialises in Chinese philosophy and political philosophy, especially traditional Chinese political philosophy.
For more information about Notre Dame and its research programs, visit notredame.edu.au