(Original Swedish post published 7 October, English version published 9 November.)
This week the winners of this year’s Nobel prizes for scientific discoveries for the “benefit of humanity” were revealed. It’s always just as exciting. Now we know who will receive the Nobel prizes in medicine, physics and chemistry. On Monday the winner of the economics prize will be announced and on Thursday next week we will know who will receive the literature prize. We have been ready to contact the prizewinners the moment they’re announced, inviting them to lecture here in Uppsala on 13 December, as is the tradition. This year we have high hopes. Several prizewinners have links with Uppsala. The winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, from Tokyo Tech, visited the University two years ago. One of the prizewinners in chemistry, Bernard L. Feringa, comes from Groningen, one of our partner universities in the U4 network.
This week we had a visit from a delegation from Tübingen, one of our sister universities in the Matariki network. A group of no less than 17 people, spearheaded by the Vice-Chancellor, visited us for three days. They met us in the management, the vice-rectors, fellow researchers and parts of the administration. Talking to colleagues about what we do is useful and opens up new perspectives on our own activities.
The deans meeting also gave us new perspectives. Once a term, the whole management, vice-rectors, all the deans, students and parts of the administration have a lunch-to-lunch meeting. This time we were at Stora Brännbo Conference & Hotel in Sigtuna. It gave us a chance to talk about current concerns. The meeting was kicked off by future analyst Troed Troedsson, who set the tone of the meeting with a challenging and inspiring lecture on the future. How should we, as a university, meet a changing world in which competition is increasing? How are we to maintain and strengthen our position? How are we to renew our activities, seek and explore new opportunities? What can we do in the short and the long term?
We continued to think about the future in terms of availability of premises and a development plan for the University for 2050, but also infrastructure issues. The agenda also included the way we work on strategic skills provision, recruitment and the procedure for appointing a Vice-Chancellor at the University, as well as a session on the lessons Uppsala University can learn from the Macchiarini affair. As usual, the discussions were very stimulating, spirited and useful. A free and open atmosphere, sharp arguments and many different opinions. This is good for Uppsala University – in the short and the long term.
Today, on 7 October, our University is 539 years old, and I’m off to Mora to open the exhibition “Art treasures from Uppsala University”. With the University Main Building closed for renovations, we’re taking the opportunity to exhibit our art at the Zorn Museum, between 8 October 2016 and 5 March 2017. Never before have so many important works of art from Uppsala University been sent on loan to an exhibition. One theme explored in the exhibition is the many links between the artist Anders Zorn and Uppsala, its university and its art collection. The exhibition is a joint project between the Zorn Museum and Gustavianum, the Uppsala University museum.
A visit to the Zorn Museum this winter is a must, is what I have to say after the opening. Our art treasures can be seen literally in a new light and I really can recommend a visit warmly. Many thanks to all of you who have made this possible.
Now I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a good weekend! For me, it’s the Student Run tomorrow, I’ll be doing 5 km at a gentle amble, but University Director Katarina Bjelke will be doing 10 km at a completely different pace.