UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018 Energy carriers of the future 27
Academic freedom fighter 14 The road to work for migrants 30 Secret of the volcanoes 34
UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
“Uppsala University is a meeting place for knowledge, culture and critical dialogue. Our mission is to gain and disseminate knowledge for the benefit of humankind and for a better world.” FROM UPPSALA UNIVERSITY: MISSION AND CORE VALUES
EFFICENT SOLAR CELLS Marika Edoff aims for new records
HEALING WOUNDS New biological medicine
PROGRESS Hello there … Håvard Hegre, is it possible to predict conflicts?
The first Scandinavians
New front for antibiotics research
Ilya Pharma – speeding up healing
How is memory organised?
Researcher profile Li BennichBjörkman: Academic freedom fighter
Human rights on the curriculum
Hello there … Cecilia Persson: Tell us about your bone cement
Cancer care in the gym
ENERGY The right mix of green energy
Energy carriers of the future
Renewable- and ecologically sustainable?
THE WORLD OF WORK The road to work for migrants – a crucial issue for Sweden
VOLCANOES Secrets of the volcanoes – volcano researcher in Iceland and Argentina
AT THE UNIVERSITY Hello there … Master’s students from Vietnam and Mexico
Doctoral awards for over 400 years
Kitchen-sink realism and imaginative murders
THE ROAD TO WORK Harder for migrants
VOLCANO RESEARCH Steffi Burchardt researching magma
UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
Excellence and public benefit CLIMATE CHANGE, migration and pandemics. To meet today’s global challenges, it is
more important than ever that research-based knowledge reaches the community. Upp sala University explicitly aspires to contribute to a better world and a sustainable society. But what is required for us to succeed in this? One fundamental requirement is that our research and education are of the highest quality. Right now, we are busy implementing the recommendations of the research evaluation Q&R17 (Quality and Renewal 2017). At the same time, we are introducing a new model for the systematic evaluation of our educational programmes. We also need to continuously uphold and enhance the public credibility and legitim acy of universities. Two obvious and essential requirements for this are good ethics and equal opportunities. It must be a hallmark of the University that all members of staff and students, whatever their role or status, treat each other with respect. Both research and education require a framework that guarantees universities an independent position in society and that respects and upholds core academic values. In this regard, Uppsala University – like other Swedish universities – needs increased autonomy and freedom of action. Specific obstacles that hinder universities from engaging in vari ous types of national and international cooperation need to be removed. Only then can we fully meet the challenges facing society. Another important factor is the University’s own capacity for strategic renewal. This requires greater control of research resources – in a word, increased direct appropriations. It also requires the revitalisation and strengthening of our system of academic leadership based on collegial principles and student influence. We need to act here and now, while also thinking for the long term. In the project Development Plan 2050, we are laying a foundation for the University’s future physical shape and spatial structure. This involves both the University’s own buildings and infrastructure, and cooperation with other actors to make Uppsala an internationally attractive university city. n
VICE-CHANCELLOR EVA ÅKESSON
DEPUTY VICE-CHANCELLOR ANDERS MALMBERG
WELCOME to Uppsala University Magazine. Here, you can read about research, discoveries and innovations. You’ll also find new perspectives on society’s problems and vital issues that concern us all – in Uppsala, Sweden and the world. What will happen if, for example, the Nordic nations switch to renewable energy? What changes would it bring and what new demands would it make on our electricity system? Several green energy solutions are being studied at Ångström Laboratory. Some, like wind and solar power, are already on the market, while others are at an exploratory stage. Scientists have found a way to extract energy from bacteria (see p. 22), for instance. We have also interviewed researchers about what migration means for Sweden – not just our economy, but society at large. With an ageing population, competition for labour may soon arise and make large-scale migration advantageous. Check out the interview on p. 32. In medicine, too, scientists are helping to solve many challenges. Growing anti biotic resistance, for example, calls for collaboration among researchers in various disciplines. In medical technology and cancer research, too, much is happening. Besides research, we want to tell you about the researchers and what drives them. Meet Li Bennich-Björkman, for one, on page 14. Holder of one of the world’s oldest chairs in political science, she has written a book about her family history. n
Enjoy your read! ANNICA HULTH, EDITOR
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Uppsala University Magazine is about research, innovations, people and university life at the oldest higher education institution in the Nordic region. The magazine is published once a year, in Swedish and English. Order it free of charge or download it as a PDF file from www.uu.se/magazine Address: Communications Division Uppsala University Box 256, SE–751 05 Uppsala, Sweden Contact: email@example.com UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
Editor: Annica Hulth Editorial staff: Magnus Alsne, Anders Berndt, Anneli Björkman, Elin Bäckström, Linda Koffmar, Anna Malmberg Responsible for content: Anneli Waara Art Director: Torbjörn Gozzi Cover photo: Mikael Wallerstedt Printing: Tabergs English translation: Semantix Språkverksta’n Clare James English language editor: Timothy Chamberlain
The first open system that warns of conflicts HELLO THERE, HÅVARD HEGRE, Dag Hammarskjöld Professor at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research. An initial version of the analysis tool Views (a political Violence Early-Warning System) to be launched in 2018.
What is Views?
“Views is a system that provides forecasts of where in the world armed conflicts will occur. In an initial phase, we focus on Africa. The analyses extend over the next 36 months and among other things will be presented in the form of maps where the conflict areas are marked in different colours. Red indicates a high risk of conflict while purple indicates a low risk.” How does Views work?
“The system is based on data that is in Uppsala University’s conflict database, UCDP, which continuously gathers information on conflicts in the world. This information is supplemented with data on terrain conditions and demography. Conflicts arise where there are people, and the
most important indicator for predicting where future conflicts will occur is what the situation looks like right now. “Since the system is under construction, it will be supplemented with additional sources, such as data on peace-keeping efforts, presidential elections and military coups. We also want to look at how we can analyse large amounts of text from news sources to pick up information that indicates conflict.” How is that done?
“It’s a matter of searching for certain words and expressions to try to identify triggers that according to theory can cause tensions, such as various kinds of protests and how states act in such situations. “The analyses are updated every month and we will also follow up how well our forecasts reflect reality.” All the data used in the analyses is freely available for all to study. Why have you chosen to work this way?
“The principle of having full transparency is very important for us. Today, there are already analysis tools that are based on intelligence information and are used by the UN, for example. We have chosen to maximise the transparency and only use open data to see how far it can take us. This means that we might not make the absolutely best warning system, but it will be the most open. This will be our contribution.” n TEXT: JOSEFIN SVENSSON PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT
Different species on the savanna and in the forest THE ELEPHANT – the largest land mammal – began walking the Earth’s surface 5–10 million years ago in Africa. Today, there are fewer than 500,000 elephants left alive and they are threatened by the ivory trade in Africa, among other things. There are only three living species: the Asian elephant, the African savanna elephant and the African forest elephant. Knowledge of the elephant’s genetic heri tage can therefore play a valuable role in future conservation to prevent these animals’ extinction. By exploring the genetic material of both living and extinct elephants, researchers have shown that gene flow (gen etic mixing) between elephant species was common in their history, in contrast to earlier studies. “Over the years, there has been a debate about whether or not African savanna and forest elephants are two different species,” says Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, active at
A new international study shows more extensive gene flow than previously believed among elephant species, whether currently living or extinct. It also indicates that the African savanna elephant and forest elephant should be seen as two different species.
African savanna elephants at San Diego Zoo. the Broad Institute and Professor of Comparative Genomics at Uppsala University. “Our data shows that these two species
Early signs of autism
BEING ABLE TO INTEGRATE sensory impressions is important for an infant’s development and their perception of their surroundings. A new study led from Uppsala University indicates that infants with a reduced ability to integrate what they see with what they hear may have an elevated risk of later being diagnosed with autism. This new knowledge about early develop-
ment of autism can contribute in the long term to earlier discovery and treatment. The study is a part of the Young Siblings Project being run by Uppsala University in cooperation with Karolinska Institutet. The children were studied at 10 months of age and followed up at 3 years, when a diagnostic assessment was done. n At Uppsala Child and Baby Lab, various methods are used to measure children’s psychological development.
PHOTO: DAVID NAYLOR
UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
PHOTO: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL
have been isolated for long periods of time, and should therefore both be preserved.” n
Dog owners live longer
A GROUP of Swedish researchers has studied the connection between dog ownership and cardiovascular health in over 3.4 million Swedes aged 40–80 in previously good cardiovascular health. The new study shows that dog owners had a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or other causes during the 12-year follow-up period. In single households, a lower risk of heart attack and stroke was also noted among the dog owners. The researchers used information from seven different national registers. n
The first Scandinavians TEXT: ANNICA HULTH ILLUSTRATION: GEEK TOWN
WESTERN HUNTER -GATHERERS
An international research team has shown how first groups from the south (modern-day Denmark and Germany) and then groups from the north-east settled in Scandinavia when it became free from ice more than 10,000 years ago. SCANDINAVIA was one of the last parts of Europe to become free from inland ice during the last ice age. Who were the first to settle there? To find out, the research team combined archaeological and genetic data with the latest results from climate modelling. “We were surprised to see that Meso lithic hunter-gatherers from the Norwegian west coast were more genetically similar to contemporary populations from east of the Baltic Sea, while hunter-gatherers from what is modern-day Sweden were more similar to hunter-gatherers from central and western Europe,” says Torsten Günther, population geneticist. THE RESEARCHERS identify two major
EASTERN HUNTER -GATHERERS
waves of migration into the area. The first consisted of groups from the south, from what is now Denmark and Germany, while the second came from the north-east, where the groups followed the ice-free Atlantic coast. The people from the two different migrations mixed with each other, which resulted in surprisingly large genetic variation among Scandinavian hunter-gatherers. “The Mesolithic Scandinavians were genetically more variable than the hunter-gatherers who lived in central, western and southern Europe at the same time. This is in stark contrast to the patterns we see today, with more genetic variation in southern Europe and less in the north,” says Mattias Jakobsson, population geneticist.
THE TWO GROUPS that migrated to Scandinavia during the Mesolithic were different in appearance. The people from the south probably had blue eyes and dark skin and the people from the north-east had light skin and a variety of eye colours. n
UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
The interdisciplinary research programme is at the heart of activities at Uppsala Antibiotic Center. TEXT: MAGNUS ALSNE PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT
New front for antibiotics research “If modern society is to survive, interdisciplinary collaboration is the only way,” says Christer Malmberg. He is one of 14 doctoral students brought together at Uppsala Antibiotic Center, Uppsala University’s latest and most comprehensive initiative in the field of antibiotics. “UPPSALA ANTIBIOTIC CENTER is a very exciting environment to be involved in. Antibiotic resistance is a global threat that no walls can protect against. If modern society is to survive, interdisciplinary collaboration is the only way and today, Uppsala is the hub of several interesting initiatives,” says Christer Malmberg. Since October, he has literally been in the middle of things. His desk looks out over Uppsala Science Park and Uppsala University Hospital. On the other side of the road is Uppsala biomedical centre. “My project aims to develop faster diagnostics for antibiotic resistance, and with UAC’s integrated approach, I can draw on academia, healthcare and industry, which adds up to enormous resources,” says Malmberg.
The 14 doctoral students at UAC specialise in different subjects, but all focus on the global problems of growing antibiotic resistance. “The situation is so urgent and complex that interdisciplinary collaboration must take place now, and in UAC we combine Uppsala University’s strengths into a front line with considerable breadth,” explains Dan I. Andersson, UAC Director and Professor of Medical Bacteriology. IN THE ENCOUNTER between different disciplines, the University wants to foster a new generation of researchers with prospects of tackling antibiotics problems to the full. With the doctoral students in place, it´s time for the next step – recruitment of an associate senior lecturer in
each of the University’s three disciplinary domains. THE GUEST LIST for the centre’s seminars and workshops includes its own doctoral students, but also researchers at other Swedish universities. A joint research school is planned with the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. “I hope that my years as a doctoral student will give me an interdisciplinary awareness,” says Christer Malmberg. “For me as an engineer, it’s easy to see everything with technical eyes and to seek straightforward solutions, but there are no simple answers here. We have to understand the whole, and UAC has what it takes to become a nursery for precisely this kind of problem solver.” n
“The energy in the team is tangible”
We asked three of the doctoral students at Uppsala Antibiotic Center what they think of the new research environment.
Klara Bertils, a linguist analysing
conversations between healthcare staff and patients in consultations where prescriptions of antibiotics may be relevant.
How is your humanities specialisation received in a traditionally medical field?
“My impression is that UAC is an international, interdisciplinary environment populated by intelligent people. Of course, it does lean towards the medical and nat ural sciences, but I feel a positive curiosity about what a humanities perspective can contribute to the work.”
Annabel Ekberg, a clinical pharmacist testing different methods to reduce prescriptions for antibiotics in in-patient care without negatively impacting the patients’ recovery. Why did you choose UAC?
“Basically, they offered me my dream job. In my profession, I often encounter antibiotic-related challenges and I felt that I wanted to take them on in a context that combines clinical practice and research in an inter national setting, and UAC really lives up to its ambitions. Already after just a few meetings, the energy in the team is tangible.”
Christer Malmberg, an engineer developing a tool to more quickly diagnose antibiotic resistance in connection with blood infections.
What values arise from the centre’s interdisciplinary meetings?
“Gathering doctoral students from different parts of the world with varying scientific perspectives makes UAC a very dynamic arena. I am already having very rewarding discussions with a researcher in health economics who is contributing important perspectives on our product’s commercial potential.” n UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
According to the WHO, antibiotic resistance is one of the largest global threats to public health and too few new antibiotics are being developed. The international research consortium DRIVE-AB has therefore developed economic models to drive development.
Economic models for new antibiotics TEXT: ANDERS BERNDT
SINCE THE 1990S, the development of
new antibiotics has fallen dramatically, largely because antibiotics provide rela tively small returns for pharmaceutical companies. “To not make the problem of antibiotic resistance worse, antibiotics should not be used more than necessary, but this means lower sales for companies, and the price should be at a level that ensures the anti biotics are available worldwide. At the same time, the cost and risk involved in developing new antibiotics have increased. It costs money to have stocks of antibiotics that should preferably not be used. Altogether, it’s an equation that doesn’t add up,” says Francesco Ciabuschi, Professor of International Business.
THE INTERNATIONAL research con-
sortium DRIVE-AB, of which Uppsala University is a part, was formed in 2014 to find solutions. In its final report, it presented economic models to stimulate the development of new antibiotics while minimising the risk of greater antibiotic resistance. Ciabuschi was coordinator for DRIVE-AB at Uppsala University. “The model we propose tries to balance three different interests: new antibiotic innovation, long-term access to antibiotics and minimised antibiotic resistance.”
The model consists of four different forms of support and incentives that each address different problems: • Research grants to stimulate the development of new antibiotics. • Coordinators who identify needs in global antibiotics development. • Rewards for new antibiotics released on the market. • Long-term compensation for making antibiotics available over time. MARKET SIMULATIONS that the researchers have done show that the reward for new antibiotics could result in 16–20 new antibiotics in the next 30 years. Some of these would never reach the market without the proposed measures.
What is the next step? “We researchers have now turned over the proposal to politicians and decision-makers. Among other things, it has been presented to the UN and the European Commission. We propose that the newly started G20 Global R&D Collaboration Hub on Antimicrobial Resistance coordinate the work.” Even if the DRIVE-AB research project has submitted its final report, research is continuing in a number of different projects. n
An entirely new technique to treat acute and chronic wounds is being developed by Evelina Vågesjö, researcher at Uppsala University and CEO of Ilya Pharma.
Speeds up healing TEXT: MAGNUS ALSNE PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT
WITH GENETICALLY modified lactic acid bacteria, Evelina Vågesjö, researcher at the Department of Medical Cell Biology, hopes to be able to accelerate the healing process of chronic wounds by up to 80 per cent. This vision is shared by the European Commission, which has awarded a grant of SEK 30 million from the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, for continued development of this innovative technology. Together with Mia Phillipson, Profes-
sor of Physiology, she is driving development further in the company Ilya Pharma. “We are one of the youngest companies to receive funding from the programme, and the award is thanks to the fact that we are developing medication that can both change the attitude of the authorities and industry towards biological medicine and improve healthcare services’ possibilities of treating wounds,” says Evelina Vågesjö. n
How is memory organised? TEXT: ANDERS BERNDT PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT
Hedvig Söderlund, newly appointed Professor of Psychology specialising in human memory, explains: Episodic memory is about personal and specific events at a certain time and place and links up what you were thinking, feeling, hearing and smelling, among other things, at that specific time. Spatial memory can be described as how you make your way from place A to place B, a kind of sense of direction. Hedvig Söderlund leads the research team Uppsala Memory Lab, which studies the effects of ageing, depression, genetics and sex on episodic and spatial memory. The team uses magnetic resonance cameras that produce images of brain structure and volume, and of brain function when performing memory tasks.
UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
Episodic memory is more sensitive to illnesses, stress and ageing. This is partly because episodic memory is complex and consists of numerous details stored in different places in the brain. Visual impressions are stored, for example, in the visual cortex, hearing in the auditory cortex. The hippocampus links up all the different memory details and knows where in the brain they are stored. This area is located centrally in the brain and is import ant for both episodic and spatial memory. There are differences between the sexes. The clearest difference is that men as a group have a better spatial memory than
women as a group. Of course, these are statistical differences within experimental groups and not individual differences. We study brain activity using magnetic resonance imaging when subjects try to maintain their orientation in a virtual maze. What we see is that the men activate the back of the right hippocampus to a significantly greater extent than women. Women as a group activate the left hippocampus to a greater extent and seem to use a more linguistic strategy in the test. They have a better episodic memory than men as a group, but the difference is not as large as with spatial memory. n
Li Bennich-Björkman Title: Skyttean Professor of Eloquence and Government. Member of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences of Uppsala since 2004, member of the Swedish Research Council’s Scientific Council for Humanities and Social Sciences 2007–2010, member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 2010, elected to the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala in 2015. Right now: Writing a book about the existential resistance in intellectual and artistic circles in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine during the Soviet era, and how it affected the transition to democracy. Contributing to an anthology on the future of democracy being published by the Swedish Parliament in connection with the centennial of universal suffrage. Family: Husband Karsten Lundequist, two grown children, mother, the dog Bosco and the cats Elvis and Simba. Lives in: The official residence in Skytteanum in central Uppsala. A good day at work: When thoughts become clear and you suddenly see the connections. On the bedside table: “Moominsummer Madness” by Tove Jansson. It’s comforting. A famous person I have met: Viktor Yanukovich, notorious former president of Ukraine. My favourite spot in Uppsala: Graneberg and Vårdsätra, where it’s overgrown and leafy in a magical way.
Academic freedom fighter TEXT: LISA THORSÉN PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT
Li Bennich-Björkman, Skyttean Professor of Eloquence and Government, is an untiring defender of academic freedom and long-term research projects. In her own research, she likes to make space for existential dimensions, most recently in a book about what it means to live a life in exile. WHEN LI BENNICH-BJÖRKMAN wrote her first academic paper, her life changed. Investigating reality, identifying problems, delving deeper and writing was very stimulating. “Writing that essay opened the door to a
new world,” she explains. The drive to delve deeper led on to doctoral studies. Today, she sees herself as a social scientist and humanist and is actually not really at ease with strict dividing lines between the social sciences. She
likes to cross boundaries. Her research spans the refugee issue, cultural policy, research policy, multiculturalism and post-communist politics. “I try to do political science in my own way,” she notes.
UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
Cont. THE PORTRAIT search and I am determined to devote my energy and time to what I feel is important to write about. As I grow older, it has become clearer to me what to do and what not to do,” says Bennich-Björkman.
The official residence in the 18th century building Skytteanum goes with the professorship, which is probably the world’s oldest chair in political science. BENNICH-BJÖRKMAN is a pioneer in many ways. In 2007, she became the first woman professor at the Department of Government at Uppsala University. The following year, she was the first woman appointed Skyttean Professor of Eloquence and Government, with an official residence in the 18th century building called Skytteanum. The Skyttean Professorship is probably the world’s oldest professorship in political science, established in 1622. One important duty is to communicate scholarship. Another is to appoint the recipients of the Johan Skytte Prize, which is awarded annually to an internationally renowned political scientist. The prize is SEK 500,000, one of the largest prizes in the world in the social sciences. When Bennich-Björkman accepted the professorship, she carefully thought through how she would act both internally and externally. “I decided that I would not appeal for understanding, that it was important to establish my authority as quickly and clearly as possible. The Department of Government was very male-dominated at the time and I knew that many would have preferred to have somebody else in the position. But I stayed away from that kind of information. I read no comments about myself, for instance. Then some time passed and one day I discovered that I had moved on. What had seemed a little daunting at first wasn’t any more.” She often engages in debate about conditions for research, in the local newspaper UNT and the national daily Svenska Dagbladet, for instance. For her re-
port “Will academic freedom survive?” (2005), she was awarded the Swedish Association of University Teachers Prize for the Promotion of Academic Freedom. How does she think academic freedom is doing today? “It’s in a tight spot. Younger researchers face very bumpy conditions and difficulties establishing their own research profile with long-term projects where it’s possible to delve deeper. Universities are becoming increasingly centralised and bureaucratised and power is shifting from the faculty to the university administrations. In many cases, the decentralisation that has been the hallmark of the universities – the fact that the researchers, academic teachers and students themselves govern the universities – has been entirely done away with. But Uppsala University is one of the few universities in Sweden that has successfully maintained collegial governance.” TO KEEP UP THEIR SPIRITS in the hostile winds blowing through academia, Bennich-Björkman and some colleagues at the department founded the Collaborative Group for a Good Research Environment. “We view ourselves as a resistance group. In 2016, we published Det hotade universitetet (‘The threatened university’), an analysis and defence of the values on which academia has long rested. We also have an international network. It’s an invigorating group.” But perhaps the most important invigorating factor is directing her own research as she sees fit. “Part of my time is earmarked for re-
IN HER LATEST BOOK, she investigates various existential dimensions of living in exile. Sörja ett liv, leva ett annat: om flyktingens mörker och ljus (‘Mourning one life, living another: on the refugee’s darkness and light’) builds on interviews she and other researchers have conducted over a period of 20 years, among the Estonians who came to Sweden in 1944 and among the Bosnians who fled the war in the Balkans in the early 1990s. In the book, Bennich-Björkman has interviewed her own mother who fled from Estonia, so it is also an exploration of her own story. “In this book, I want to highlight a number of dimensions that I believe are generally applicable to everyone living in exile. I felt that there was a strong need to write about the existential aspect, about being. The way we talk about integration and migration in politics and research easily becomes so ... inhuman.” One of the dimensions she takes up is how crucial it is to have some sort of acceptance that life has changed, and to be treated and viewed as an individual. Another dimension is about being able to choose to be in one world or more than one, both in the old and in the new home country. ONE OF THE MOST important answers she found in her study is precisely that her mother and others in exile have mourned their lives and nonetheless lived another life, and that this is very difficult. “I am happy that I wrote the book and that my mother was involved.” She often thinks of Sweden as a country where Progress has been everything and where there is no room for melancholy. She hopes that the fact that we have now become and will remain an immigration country will change this. “The loss experienced by refugees must be given a place in the tapestry of society. The experience of melancholy needs to be incorporated into social under standing. I think that makes a society more whole.” n
The Human Rights Clinic at the Faculty of Law puts human rights and practical human rights work on the curriculum in a collaborative project with civil rights organisations. TEXT: ANNICA HULTH
“THE GOAL HAS BEEN to create a platform for cooperation between researchers, teachers, students and representatives of civil society organisations,” explains Anna Jonsson Cornell, Professor of Law and initiator of the Human Rights Clinic. In cooperation with the human rights organisation Civil Rights Defenders, among others, law students have been able to work with real legal cases as part of their programme. “There is a great deal of interest among law students in deepening their knowledge of human rights. We have an important role to play when it comes to promoting the students’ enthusiasm and desire to learn, and creating opportunities for them to develop their knowledge of human rights in a concrete manner,” says John Stauffer, Legal Director at Civil Rights Defenders.
UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT • ISTOCK PHOTO
The inspiration comes from American universities, where students work to provide advice to groups who would not other wise be able to afford or access legal help. Within the framework of ‘legal clinics’, the students gain more in-depth training in legal analysis, legal writing and conducting legal investigations, under the guidance of a professor or lawyer employed by the university. Within the project, students can deepen their legal knowledge and develop technical legal skills. “There is also a focus on morality and ethics in advocacy work and the students are trained in handling ethical consider ations. The difference compared with traditional courses is that this is a live situation since we work with real legal cases,” says Anna Jonsson Cornell.
Among other things students have conducted a legal investigation on the protection of private life and personal integrity in connection with decisions on compulsory care. They have delved deeper into how Swedish anti-terror legislation relates to human rights and have worked on asylum and migration issues linked to un accompanied refugee minors. n
Anna Jonsson Cornell is Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the Department of Law and initiator of the Human Rights Clinic.
TEXT: LISA THORSÉN PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT
“We identified a clinical need”
HELLO THERE, CECILIA PERSSON, researcher in
biomaterials and biomechanics at the Division of Applied Material Science at the Ångström Laboratory and part-owner of the company Inossia.
You have invented a new elastic bone cement for spinal fractures. How will it be used?
“It can improve the treatment of elderly patients with brittle bones. Today, the bone cement that’s injected is mainly an effective pain relief treatment. The problem is that the cement is very stiff in relation to the bone it’s injected into. This easily leads to new fractures next to the old. Brittle vertebrae can be compared to eggshell and today’s cement to stone. We have developed a bone cement that is more sponge-like, more elastic. These mechanical properties will reduce the risk of new fractures.” What does the actual invention consist of?
“We began with an existing bone cement and added a softener that gives the bone cement some new and different characteristics, of which elasticity is the most important. Product development takes place through the company Inossia, which I founded in 2013 together with my colleague Malin Nilsson.” How did you come up with the idea of the bone cement?
“We identified a clinical need. Spinal fractures mainly strike elderly people with osteoporosis. In 2010, 400,000 treatments were performed worldwide where bone cement was injected into broken vertebrae. By 2020, that figure is expected to have risen to 1.4 million.” What is happening right now?
“Inossia has received funding to finance an application for CE marking, among other things. We’re conducting necessary tests. For example, we have to be sure that the material doesn’t degrade when it’s sterilised. We’re also looking at the durability of the material over time by doing mechanical endurance tests. At the same time, we’re setting up a quality assurance system for production where everything will be traceable and documented. We’re also planning on a clinical study. We don’t yet know how large it needs to be.” What are the greatest challenges ahead?
“It’s a lot of work taking a product from research to clinical use. At the same time, it’s very enjoyable. This autumn, Malin and I participated in a programme that EIT Health arranged to give promising new companies an extra push towards the market. It was really good to be able to discuss the entire process with others for several days. A lot is happening right now. We’re being contacted by the medical technology industry and distributors.” n
Expat Swedes do not learn Spanish
PER GUSTAFSON, researcher at the Institute for Housing and Urban Research, together with his Norwegian colleague Ann Elisabeth Laksfoss Cardozo, have studied language use and language environments in the Spanish region of Alicante, where large groups of Swedish and Norwegian pensioners have settled. The study shows that many have limited knowledge of Spanish, and that most live in multilingual areas where they get by fairly well in daily life without knowing Spanish. Most pensioners express that they feel at home and are socially included in Spain, but it is primarily a matter of an expat Swedish community.
PHOTO: ISTOCK PHOTO
Many Swedish pensioners who move to Spain do not learn to speak Spanish and have limited social contacts with the local Spanish population. These are the findings of research in the scope of a large EU project.
Spaniards often perceive the foreign pensioners as tourists or temporary vis itors rather than immigrants and new resi dents. This means on the one hand that it becomes even harder for the pensioners who actually want to learn Spanish and
Computer games provide new friends COMPUTER GAME-PLAYING young people do not have fewer friends in school than their non-game-playing schoolmates. Two studies from Uppsala University show that neither the young people who spend a lot of time playing nor those who identify themselves as gamers have fewer friends in school than those who play little or not at all. It also turned out that young people
who identify themselves as gamers tend to become friends with each other. In other words, computer game play serves as a common interest, leading to new friendships in school. The researchers studied 115 young people beginning at a new upper secondary school in a large Swedish city and held 10 in-depth interviews with gaming upper secondary school pupils. n
have contact with Spaniards. On the other hand, most Spaniards do not perceive the foreign pensioners’ poor language skills and deficient integration as a major problem as long as the pensioners respect Spanish laws and rules. n
Supercomputers strengthen research
THE TWO NEW supercomputers Bianca
and Rackham were inaugurated at UPPMAX at Uppsala University at the end of April. They provide new opportunities for research in bioinformatics and material science, among other fields. The type of data to be analysed using Bianca is mainly human genome data (DNA) that must be handled so that no unauthorised personnel has access to it. Rackham is Uppsala University’s largest computer system to date, with more than 6,000 computing cores linked to a very fast storage system, which makes it an excellent system for memory-intensive and data-intensive calculations. n
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Phys-Can is being funded in part by Cancerfonden, the Swedish Research Council, the World Cancer Research Fund and the Nordic Cancer Union. Group exercise sessions are being held in Uppsala and in Lund/Malmรถ and previously in Linkรถping as well. They will continue until November 2018. The researcher in charge is Karin Nordin, Professor of Caring Sciences at Uppsala University.
A study has shown that group exercise sessions during cancer treatment increase patients’ strength and endurance and also provide social support and motivation to stay active. Now the researchers hope their results will become a self-evident part of cancer care in Sweden. INGRID DEMMELMAIER
Associate Professor of Physiotherapy.
Professor Emeritus of Surgery.
Cancer care in the gym TEXT: MAGNUS ALSNE PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT
PHYSICAL EXERCISE is one of the most effective ways of preventing cancer but what is the significance of exercise for someone undergoing treatment for cancer? The Phys-Can study was started up three years ago by researchers at Uppsala University. 600 people with cancer have been taking part in group exercise sessions to investigate the effect of exercise on quality of life and cancer-related fatigue. “Many people who are being treated for cancer are afflicted by fatigue, a para lysing tiredness that can continue long after the therapy has ended. Patients have traditionally been told to rest but the participants in our study describe how physical exercise makes them feel more alert and energetic,” says Ingrid Demmelmaier, Associate Professor of Physiotherapy . THE PHYS-CAN PARTICIPANTS un-
dergo training sessions for strength and fitness for six months and are then moni tored for a ten-year period. The selection process is done in consultation with doctors. Demmelmaier is satisfied with both the recruitment process and the execution of the project. “Several international studies confirm that exercise in conjunction with treatment is positive for cancer patients. The age of the participants in our project ranges from 30 to 84 years and we have had no serious incidents at all. The impression we get is
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that most patients increase their strength, fitness and energy. They also feel that the group activity in itself gives structure to their lives, social support and motivates them to stay active.” THE LONG-TERM AMBITION is to in-
tegrate physical activity as a natural part of cancer care but despite the healthcare sector’s need for cost-effective alternatives, there are still a number of issues that need to be resolved, such as: Who’s going to pay for it? Who’s going to recommend patients to take part? And who’s going to motivate them to continue? “Even though our project is still in progress, we know that exercise is a beneficial part of cancer care and we are already looking for inspiration and ideas to implement Phys-Can’s results in ordinary care activities”, says Demmelmaier. The patients participating in PhysCan have breast cancer, prostate cancer or bowel cancer. Physical exercise has been tested on patients with obesity and rheumatism and the positive results have attracted the attention of the media and the support of the medical profession. “Exercise is something that everyone can relate to and it’s a relatively cheap way for patients to influence their state of health while undergoing treatment. Together with Uppsala University Hospital, we have initiated a pilot project where we
are trying, on a small scale, to convert our exercise programme into something that can be used in the care sector. However, to succeed on a larger scale, we must bring clinics, decision-makers, patient organisations and wellness stakeholders together.” A YEAR OR TWO AGO, the Swedish Cancer Society estimated that we are at risk of the number of cancer cases doub ling by 2040 if the right steps are not taken. At the same time, we receive frequent reports of successful research enabling earlier diagnosis, improved treatments and a greater chance of survival. Unfortunately, healthcare resources are not keeping up with developments, which quickly increases the gap between medical possibilities and what healthcare is able to offer in reality,” explains Lars Holmberg, Professor Emeritus at Uppsala University’s Department of Surgical Sciences. Today, health economic aspects are increasingly important in healthcare inter ventions. The treatment’s effectiveness is weighed against its price, new more cost-effective alternatives must be tested. “In Sweden, the situation is better than in most other countries, but it is still not equitable. When you need help, who you are or where you live should not matter. So we have to create conditions for dialogue with a focus on the best conceivable care for all,” says Holmberg. n
The right mix of green energy TEXT: ANNICA HULTH PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT, ISTOCK PHOTO
Can we get by on just renewable energy? Can energy from the sun, wind and water cover our electricity needs â€“ even on a windless, overcast day in Scandinavia? Perhaps, but it makes new demands.
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Cont. RENEWABLE ENERGY THE NORDIC COUNTRIES could meet
their energy needs simply by expanding renewable energy, according to a study from Uppsala University. But there are several challenges along the way, according to Mikael Bergkvist, researcher in electricity. “In the study, we were able to show that it’s not obviously impossible even if it would be difficult within the near future.” The difficulty of electricity production is that it takes place in real time – the electricity that is needed right now must be produced right now. At the same time, our electricity consumption varies every hour of the day all year long. The more dependent we are on intermittent sources, such as wind power, the greater the demands are on flexible balance regulating power. “In Sweden, we are fortunate since we have a lot of hydropower that can be used to quickly regulate variation but, thanks to large hydropower reservoirs, can also be stored at times when we have high wind power production and low demand for
electricity. But it requires a lot of planning. In today’s system, we have good possibilities of balancing daily and seasonal variations, but it’s harder for example in the event of a few weeks of windless weather,” says Bergkvist. In Sweden, we get as much energy from nuclear power (40–45 per cent) as from hydropower. This is followed by wind power at 10–14 per cent. Lastly, we have combined heat and power plants, condensing power and gas turbines that together provide around 10 per cent. SOLAR ENERGY is more uncommon at our latitudes, but a lot of research and development is under way. One example is the residential building Frodeparken in Uppsala, where the entire glass façade produces electricity. The building is covered by thin-film solar cells that have been developed from research at Uppsala University. An international EU project on solar cell technology that can be integrated into buildings is led from Uppsala. Marika Edoff, Professor of Solid State Electronics, is the coordinator of the project. The
Marika Edoff, Professor of Solid State Electronics, was involved in founding the solar cell company Solibro and has worked for many years both as a researcher and in the company
focus is thin-film solar cells and how they can be made more efficient and be integrated into buildings. “Building integration offers unique opportunities for thin-film solar cells, mainly to look aesthetically different. With thin films, it’s also possible to make solar cells flexible and lightweight,” says Edoff. THE DOMINANT TECHNOLOGY in the market is silicon solar cells. Thin-film solar cells are based on a different technology and consist of microscopically thin films that are mounted on glass, for example. The modules can be made into entirely black building blocks, like the façade at Frodeparken. The challenge for the researchers is to make the material thinner without reducing the effectiveness or efficiency, which is currently 21 per cent. To succeed in this, various optical techniques are used, such as building mirrors into the thin layers so that twice as much light is absorbed. “It may seem ridiculous to make the layers even thinner since their total thickness is around three micrometres, which
Frodeparken in Uppsala is covered by thin-film solar cells that have been developed from research at Uppsala University. The entire glass façade produces electricity.
is what one gets by cutting a hair into 20 slices. But we want to push this further, reduce the material use and make the light-absorbing layers half a micrometre thick instead of two,” says Edoff. Internationally, solar energy has made a major breakthrough in recent years and even if it is slow in Sweden, the market is growing, with various support schemes for installing solar cells in buildings. “Through the EU project, we can gather skills and expertise and hope to also increase the visibility of solar cells and lobby to develop long-term solutions in Sweden,” says Edoff. She was personally involved in founding the solar cell company Solibro and has worked for many years both as a researcher and in the company. When she began with thin-film solar cells in 1990, the solar cells had an efficiency of 10 per cent. Now, they have reached 21 per cent, not far from the world record of 22.6 per cent. She attributes the success to the close cooperation between business and academia. “Various EU projects have been crucial to the technology coming so far, by
benefiting the cooperation between companies and research groups. It’s been super important.” ANOTHER EU PROJECT, the New Wind Atlas (NEWA), concerns wind power and has mapped wind resources throughout Europe. Stefan Ivanell is the project manager for the Swedish part of the project. He leads the research at the Wind Power Section on Campus Gotland, which belongs to the Department of Earth Sciences at Uppsala University. While their research colleagues in Uppsala make large-scale weather models, the researchers in Visby work with models that show the detailed flow in a wind farm. If these two kinds of models are linked together, larger-scale calculations can be made to see where it is best to build a wind farm. “When we study the interaction between wind farms, the calculations take several days or weeks with a super computer, so they are pretty heavy calculations. This is why we need to supplement them with rougher calculation methods,” says Ivanell.
Within the project, they study for example the wind flow in forests and the possibilities of expanding wind power there. The researchers are interested in the placement of wind power plants and how the turbines – as well as whole wind farms – interact with each other. To understand this, they do simulations and wind tunnel experiments that show how the placement affects what kind of flow the turbine is located in and how great the turbulence is. “We develop models for how to extract the energy in a smarter way while reducing the loads on the turbines so that they last longer,” says Ivanell. WIND POWER is the third largest form of electricity production in Sweden, but its expansion has come to a standstill. “Despite low energy prices in Sweden, wind power is currently attracting record investments. For anyone thinking of new energy production facilities, wind power is very competitive“, says Ivanell, who is also the director of STandUP for Wind, a national wind energy centre in which several Swedish universities participate.
Stefan Ivanell, Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, heads research at the Wind Energy Section on Campus Gotland. He is also Director of STandUP for Wind, a national wind energy centre.
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Cont. RENEWABLE ENERGY A research project recently began at Uppsala University in which the researchers will work out how the Swedish island Gotland could become self-sufficient in renewable energy, such as solar energy, wind power and biofuel. Some 20 researchers are involved in the project at the departments of Earth Sciences, Engineering Sciences and Chemistry. AN IMPORTANT ISSUE is acceptance among the local population, because a society with expanded wind, hydro and solar power would look very different. “Today, 50 per cent of the energy on Gotland comes from wind power. To become entirely self-sufficient, this must be scaled up on land, at sea and in solar cell parks,” says Ivanell. “Right now, we are trying to model conceivable scenarios for the future. If we build in certain ways, how will it affect acceptance? What advantages and disadvantages are there with different solutions? Overhead lines and power cables would be needed for distri-
bution, but how would they be perceived by the public?” Studying Gotland as a renewable system is suitable since it is well defined, according to Ivanell. In cooperation with the region, various possibilities are now being investigated, such as transport using electric vehicles and how energy can be stored in batteries or in gas form. “It is a matter of what renewable resources there are, but it is also about balancing this with a limited cable connection with the mainland. We need a system that can store energy and in which what we put into the system always matches consumption.” To go back to the study of the entire Nordic region’s energy supply, it shows that hydropower plays a key role. By storing hydropower, it is possible to obtain an even supply of electricity despite vari ations in production. “Some people fear that renewable energy will give us an unstable power grid and that we won’t be able to handle the situation, but in Sweden we can. Our hydropower is an enormous resource for storing energy, compared with battery
Thin-film solar cells consist of microscopically thin films that are mounted on glass, for example. The researchers want to make the material thinner without reducing its efficiency.
storage, which doesn’t have anything like the same capacity and is primarily a local solution,” says Mikael Bergkvist. ANOTHER PROBLEM to solve is how to deliver renewable energy to the entire Nordic region. With today’s distribution system, it would be difficult to deliver energy everywhere with just renewable electricity. In Sweden, for example, we have a lot of production in the north, but most consumption in the south. “Our calculations have not taken into account the limitations in the power grid. It is just a question of expansion, but it will of course cost a lot and the permit process for a new line can take decades.” In their study, the researchers also note that it is important to find the right mix of renewable sources. “It gets better if we optimise the mix of wave power, wind power and solar en ergy, but this is difficult to control since we live in a democracy with free enterprise,” Bergkvist observes. So there will continue to be a flora of various energy solutions in the Nordic region. n
Hydropower plays a key role in Sweden, since it can be used to quickly regulate variations, but can also be stored in large hydropower reservoirs.
Energy carriers of the future
Inspired by nature, researchers have developed a new method to produce hydrogen from bacteria. They use biological ‘hydrogen factories’ that are modified in the lab. TEXT: ANNICA HULTH PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT THE METHOD INVOLVES introducing
designed molecules to genetically modified organisms to activate an otherwise inactive enzyme to begin producing hydrogen. A combination of synthetic chemistry and biology in other words. Hydrogen is an environmentally friendly alternative to today’s coal- and oil-based fuels and a lot of research is being done on how it can be produced on a large scale. Gustav Berggren, researcher at the Depart ment of Chemistry, are seeking inspiration from nature’s own hydrogen factories, bacteria that have produced hy drogen for billions of years. But it is also necessary to modify nature’s solutions.
EVEN IF BIOLOGICAL systems are generally very effective and can work at or below room temperature, there is a problem: they have no natural interest in producing hydrogen since it wastes energy. “This is why it is often difficult to take what nature gives us. Rather, we have to optimise it for our needs. In our research, we try to understand what nature does, but we cannot just take nature’s solutions, we have to modify them,” says Berggren. Together with Professor Peter Lindblad, he has led a project where a hydrogen-producing enzyme from green algae was placed in a more easy-to-handle organism that can be cultivated in the lab, namely E. coli bacteria.
Introducing designed molecules to genetically modified bacteria activates an otherwise inactive enzyme to begin producing hydrogen. UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
BY MANIPULATING the enzymes with
molecules that can be produced in the lab, the researchers started the production of hydrogen in an organism where the enzymes do not actually belong.
“These artificially activated enzymes have proven to be fully functional and convert E. coli bacteria into cellular hydrogen factories,” says Lindblad. Berggren explains: “It’s just like a Formula 1 car. Even if the famous driver Schumacher is sitting in the car, it won’t get anywhere without a race team and support. In the same way, it’s not enough to move the enzyme over to an organism; a support system of synthetic molecules also needs to be introduced to the cell to make it begin producing hydrogen.” THE RESEARCHERS now plan to apply
their unique method to cyanobacteria, which get their energy from sunlight. They also want to improve the artificial enzymes on a genetic level and modify the synthetic catalysts to further improve the process. “If we succeed in refining the method as we plan to, it has the potential to make the biological production of hydrogen from sunlight and water significantly easier,” says Berggren. n
Renewable – and ecologically sustainable? TEXT: ANNELI BJÖRKMAN PHOTO: JAN SUNDBERG
Sweden must phase out fossil energy sources – this is the general consensus. But opinions differ on what kinds of energy production society should invest in. “We will need a lot of renewable energy, which unfortunately will also have an environmental cost,” says Professor Jan Sundberg at the Department of Engineering Sciences.
THE NEED FOR ENERGY that emits less carbon dioxide and limits the burden on the environment is growing the world over. But how ecologically sustainable are today’s renewable energy sources? And is it possible to find a minimum common acceptance level for potential negative side effects? According to Jan Sundberg, the answers are to be sought in interdisciplinar ity. He works at the Ångström Laboratory’s Division of Electricity, at the Centre for Renewable Electric Energy Conversion to be precise. With roots as an ecologist, he conducts research focused on nature and environmental issues in renewable energy production. “I was one of the few biologists and ecologists who began looking more closely at the impact of renewable energy in the 1990s. At that time, the main issue was wind power, and one of the questions I worked on was assessing the environmental impact in areas that applied for permits for wind power.” AT THE BEGINNING of the 2000s, his interest was caught by a newly established division for renewable energy extraction at the Ångström Laboratory at Uppsala University. Shortly after, he began to work with Mats Leijon, inventor and developer of technical solutions for energy conversion. “I was interested in the subject as such, and also thought new technology offered more promising solutions than conventional technology,” says Sundberg. Over the years, his work came to focus on the division’s marine activities, particularly the large wave power projects in Lysekil and Sotenäs on the west coast. But he has also worked on risk minimisation in vertical axis wind turbine technology, another area of research at the Centre for Renewable Electric Energy Conversion. There, he has been responsible for contacts with authorities concerning permits and follow-up. He has also converted project evaluations into research programmes for doctoral students. “We have a lot of wind power on the way, but the follow-ups conducted have their shortcomings. We know very little about the future impact of wind farms, which are growing in size and number – regionally, nationally and globally.”
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Jan Sundberg points to innumerable stacks of paper on his desk, containing articles. All of them are part of the same meta-study on the evaluation of renewable energy from a nature conservation perspective. Though as Sundberg points out, in terms of impacts on nature and the environment, humankind is already causing considerable such impacts through forestry, agriculture, construction of cities and similar land use, Sundberg points out. “You have to have perspective. Besides, every major energy transition will give rise to similar discussions and criticism. When wave and tidal power are as big as wind power, there will be problems associated with them. This phenomenon is often called cumulative impact, meaning effects accumulate gradually as new projects and facilities are added.” THE KEY IS communication – to inform
and conduct a dialogue with the local community. The Sotenäs project led to the establishment of the company Seabased, a partly commercial enterprise, while the Lysekil project is a pure research facility. They are currently studying how fish and marine mammals, such as the harbour seal and porpoise, are affected by the wave power equipment. “The advantage of wave power is that there are no moving parts, no rotating turbines that can cause damage. It’s essentially some kind of construction that either floats, lies in the water or, like ours, lies on the bottom with a buoy on the surface,” says Sundberg. The doctoral students have also stud-
ied the status of Norway lobster in the wave power park in Sotenäs, where they have made some interesting observations. “It turns out that once you build a park where fishing is not possible, the bio mass can increase. The Norway lobsters in Sotenäs are not fished out when they are small. Without fishing, the stocks also become denser. When they become too numerous in the park, the lobsters leave the area and can be caught. So the marine activities have positive effects as well.” However, it will probably take time to arrive at more exact definitions and delimitations on which parties can base agreements on the use of renewable en ergy sources. “We need vastly more research and development. Not just in technology, but also in the natural and social sciences, because that’s where there is knowledge about the best way to adapt renewable energy to the social and environmental context,” says Sundberg. n
In Lysekil researchers are studying how fish and marine mammals are affected by the wave power equipment.
The road to work for migrants A costly and desolate trek through social measures or a worthwhile rescue for Sweden? TEXT: HENRIK MÃ–LLER ILLUSTRATION: GEEKTOWN PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT
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Vägen till arbete för nya svenskar OLOF ÅSLUND, Professor of Economics, sees migration as a key issue for Sweden’s overall labour needs in the long term. “Successful migration can reduce the future problems of an ageing population and create better public finances. Unsuccessful migration will instead make these challenges more difficult.” Olof Åslund is the Director-General of IFAU, the Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, and has spent much of the past 20 years studying the mechanisms that hinder or promote employment for migrants. He has also seen the discussion swing back and forth between seeing migrants as a resource and seeing them as a problem. Since the large
wave of refugees in 2015, the dominant themes in the political discussion have been restriction and regulation. “But the challenges did not begin in 2015. Sweden has long had extensive refugee and family reunification immigration. It’s a net cost to society, but it’s not enormous. Many come when they are of an employable age and don’t cost so much to train. What the outcome will be depends on whether the person works and pays taxes or becomes dependent on support systems.” LINKING MIGRATION to Sweden’s ageing population can provide perspective. According to the Swedish Association of
“Sweden does not stand out as exceptionally bad compared with other countries even if the ‘gap’ between natives and immigrants is larger than in many other countries,” says Olof Åslund, researcher and Director-General of IFAU.
Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), Sweden needs half a million people in welfare professions up to 2026. “These two challenges in the Swedish labour market need to be each other’s solutions.” Lifting one’s sights, the think-tank Bruegel, for example, has pointed to a future situation where countries may compete for labour, not just highly qualified labour. “What will Sweden’s competitive advantage be then? Who will want to move to a strange little country on the Arctic Circle? Migration is network-driven, earlier flows predict future flows. If one takes this perspective, this is our great opportunity. It’s very clear that the Swedish debate is one-sided right now. It needs to be supplemented.” SO WHAT DOES the road to work look like for migrants in Sweden? In the report Flykting- och anhöriginvandrades etable ring på den svenska arbetsmarknaden [Refugee and family reunification immigrant establishment in the Swedish labour market] (2017), the researchers study the period 1990–2014. Here, it is apparent that things go better for men than for women and that the first jobs for immigrants are often in small low-wage businesses in the service sector. After five years in Sweden, around 45 per cent have established themselves in the labour market and after 15 years, the percentage is 80 per cent. This result is similar to the situation in other Western countries. “The pattern from arrival to the first job is well-known. Sweden does not stand out as exceptionally bad compared with other countries even if the ‘gap’ between natives and immigrants is larger than in many other countries. If we compare with our Nordic neighbours, there are some studies that indicate that it goes a bit slower in the beginning in Sweden, but a bit better in the long term.” ACCORDING TO THE REPORT, three
factors are crucial to how things go for newcomers in the labour market – the job supply, demand and matching. The supply
of jobs that may be available to migrants increases or decreases depending on a number of ‘human capital factors’. Region of birth and level of education are two of them. “If you come with a low level of education from, say, North Africa or the Middle East and have attended school for five or six years when upper-secondary school is the minimum requirement in Sweden, there’s a large gap.” Another important human capital factor is language. Acquiring a knowledge of the host country’s language leads to greater success in the labour market, but should not take too long. “We know that being outside the labour market for a long time is quite nega tive. It can therefore be an advantage to organise and supervise work in a way that allows migrants to begin working and learn the language gradually,” says Åslund. The supply of possible jobs to apply for is also affected by how the newcomer’s competence and skills are validated. The purpose of validation is to enable a person who has worked or studied in another country to find out how their competence and professional experience stand up in the Swedish labour market. If their competence and skills are found to be inadequate, they will need further education and training. The researchers at IFAU have gone on
to study the demand situation. In spring 2018, the labour market is hot. According to the most recent figures from Statistics Sweden, unemployment among migrants has decreased. “An economic upswing benefits newcomers, who are otherwise at the back of the queue. From earlier research, it is clear that marginal groups fare best in good times and tend to be at a disadvantage in bad times,” comments Åslund. POLITICAL INSTRUMENTS have long sought to facilitate the road to work for migrants. There are some differences of opinion as to what works best. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and the liberal and conservative parties want to see lower starting salaries while Social Democratic policies traditionally focus more on educational efforts and targeted programmes. “Some research shows that high starting salaries disadvantage newcomers. Other studies show that they have little or no effect. It can be said that high starting salaries have some limited effect on newcomers’ chances of work,” says Åslund. The current subsidy schemes that the Public Employment Service offers include new start jobs and introduction jobs, which mean that an employer can hire a person with certain characteristics in their business at a low cost. Even though the labour cost is dis-
counted by up to 80 per cent, there has been no rush among employers to use these subsidies. In the debate, it has been argued that it is too complicated, that the employers are not aware of the subsidies and that they do not want to become dependent on them. “It’s nonetheless surprising that it hasn’t worked better. In part it is pure discrimination, based on background and name. But it is perhaps also due to newcomers not having networks and informal contacts. They never come up as possible candidates in the recruitment process.” Another area IFAU has studied that affects migrants’ chances in the labour market is matching. Studies have shown that when the Public Employment Service’s administrators have had a chance to work for a long time with a smallish group of jobseekers, this, combined with wage subsidies, has very good effects. This is true even for groups that are very detached from the labour market. Would it be possible to scale up this kind of matching to tens of thousands of people and still maintain quality? “We don’t know. But the fundamental lesson is that increasing the exposure of migrants this way can be expected to have positive effects. Especially if we remember Sweden’s skills supply needs in the years ahead.” n
Migrants’ road to work Uppsala-based Delmi, the Delegation for Migration Studies, also initiates studies and disseminates research results in the migration area. In the Pathway to Work project, researchers identify five factors that can help explain the substantial differences in labour market participation: • Reason for immigration – people in need of protection and their family members have had more difficulty finding work than labour immigrants • Human capital – people born abroad have limited Swedish working life experience and a poorer knowledge of the Swedish language • Social networks – people born abroad have fewer informal contacts in the labour market than those born in Sweden • Thresholds to the labour market – inadequate access to simple jobs and high starting salaries can make it harder for both young people and people born abroad to enter the labour market • Discrimination – large groups of people born abroad are discriminated against when they seek work.
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Secret of the volcanoes There is no risk of an eruption when volcano researcher Steffi Burchardt is out on a research expedition. She studies extinct volcanoes that had eruptions millions of years ago. But life as a researcher out in the field is nonetheless full of drama and new discoveries. TEXT: ANNICA HULTH PHOTO: STEFFI BURCHARDT â€¢ MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT
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“It was a very exciting process – one goes from total confusion to some euphoria.”
Steffi Burchardt in front of the volcano Payun in Argentina.
Cont. VOLCANO SCIENCE
who settled on Iceland in the 9th century. After all, Reykjavik means ‘smoky bay’.” Volcanism has also played an import ant role in Sweden. Here, the youngest volcanoes died out 100 million years ago in Skåne and the most significant volcanoes were active 1.9 billion years ago. At that time, what is now Bergslagen was a shallow ocean with large volcanoes and very explosive eruptions. That is how part of the continent we live on today was formed, Burchardt explains. “The volcanoes sprayed ash while, in the ocean, the first reefs were producing limestone. The resulting chemical reaction gave rise to iron ore, silver and gold. So all of our ore deposits in Bergslagen are volcanic in origin.”
THERE IS STILL a lot left to learn about
volcanoes and what happens when magma from the Earth’s interior forces its way up out of the crust of the Earth in an eruption. Steffi Burchardt is one of the people involved in gathering that knowledge. Her favourite destination is Iceland and it was there that her most recent major discovery was made: that liquid magma can crack. It was the summer of 2016 when she and doctoral student Tobias Mattsson investigated an 11.7 million year-old magma chamber at the mountain’s surface. “We were going to make a 3D map of the magma chamber’s shape and see how the magma had flowed into the volcano. We were completely focused on finding out if the surrounding rock had cracked and how the magma, as viscous as peanut butter, had flowed in,” explains Burchardt.
IT WAS PREVIOUSLY believed that it is only the rock around the magma chamber that can crack during a volcanic eruption, but when they took their measurements and stone samples, they discovered that there were strange cracks in the hardened magma. “They didn’t look like anything expected to be found there. At first, we were completely confused: ‘What is this?’ The cracks didn’t look systematic, but nor did they appear chaotic. If you get confused by a discovery like that, you simply have to study more, continue and gather more observations.” So they continued and found cracks in the rock that fitted very well with the patterns they had previously seen, but still had no idea where they came from. ONLY AFTER a few months at home did
they cut the stone samples into 20-micrometre-thin slices and look at them under a microscope. “Then we suddenly understood that it was actually the magma that had deformed and cracked as it forced its way into the magma chamber,” says Burchardt. “We had read a large number of art icles on experiments and lava flows and tried to find answers everywhere, but it
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IN OTHER PARTS of the world, vol
took around half a year. It was a very exciting process – one goes from total confusion to some euphoria.” In November 2017, she received a grant from the Wallenberg Foundation to further investigate how liquid magma can crack. The aim is to understand how the crack formation can affect everything from predictions of volcanic eruptions to precious metal deposits and oil reservoir formation.
canoes have been involved in forming oil reservoirs. The Norwegian oil deposits in the North Sea are one example, another is Argentina’s largest oil field, in northern Patagonia. There, Burchardt has been involved in a field survey as part of an international project. The project is looking at magma transport and magma chambers in sedimentary basins. These consist of layer on layer of sediment deposited over many millions of years – sand, clay and organic materials, including dinosaur bones. “It turns out that it was when magma forced its way in between the layers that the right pressure and temperature were achieved so that oil could be formed from organic material. So without the volcanoes, there wouldn’t have been oil there,” Burchardt explains.
AROUND THE WORLD, there are lots of volcanoes, some are active and others long since extinct. They are very dynamic systems that can be dormant for thousands of years, but then awaken and have an eruption within a few months. Nonetheless, many people settle near volcanoes, such as in Naples, Italy, as well as in the Philippines, Indonesia and Africa. The reason is the supply of geothermal energy that can be extracted from active volcanoes. “Besides the heat in the ground, the land is very fertile. Even before there were geothermal power plants, people were drawn by hot springs, such as the Vikings
SHE WAS THERE to study an old volcano that went extinct five million years ago and where parts of the magma chamber are now at the surface. Hardened magma is harder than the surrounding rock, which is a bit softer and disappears by erosion. This can make an old magma chamber so easily accessible that researchers can walk around in it and measure the structure. They now use modern technology, such as a drone that circles around and takes pictures. And Burchardt also looked for cracks in the magma in Argentina as well. “Having been to Iceland and made
In the field in Argentina, where volcanoes have been important in oil reservoir formation.
Cont. VOLCANO SCIENCE that discovery, I checked my pictures from Argentina and it turned out that there were cracks there too. Later in March 2017 when I travelled back to Argentina, I took extra time to look for the cracks and they were everywhere!” Out in the field, they usually measure the structure with a geological compass or use a mobile phone app to make the same measurement digitally. Then they take the measurements and the map and build 3D models on the computer. THE RESEARCHERS also take stone
samples to study at home, with a microscope for example. “Now, the magma has hardened, but we want to know how viscous it actually was when the magma chamber was formed, and how the magma behaved then. And we can calculate this with a fair degree of precision when we know the composition of the magma and the proportion of crystals.” An important issue is how the cracks affect the magma chamber’s permeability and how much water can flow through it. The mere existence of the cracks indicates that the magma chamber is much more porous than previously believed.
“This could mean that geothermal power plants can be more effective in such magma chambers since more water can circulate and the heat can more easily leave the hardened magma body,” says Burchardt. “Another aspect of the cracking magma is how ores are formed. Today, it is assumed that chemical substances in the magma – such as platinum, gold and copper – are extracted from the surface of the magma chamber. But if the magma cracks when it is still warm, what does this mean for how these substances are extracted from the magma? There are a huge number of interesting effects.” STEFFI BURCHARDT has studied volca-
noes for around 15 years. When she did her undergraduate degree in earth sciences in Göttingen, Germany, she went on an expedition to the Canary Islands, which are of volcanic origin. “I thought they were really exciting structures. I had studied structural geology and thought the volcanoes there were beautiful and exciting. Then I wrote my master’s dissertation on an area in Iceland.” She likes to take photos and the computer is full of pictures of volcanic landscapes that are unlike any other. “The colours, the sharp contours...
Steffi Burchardt builds 3D models of volcanoes on her computer.
Even when the weather’s not so nice, it’s magical. When the sun rises over moss, water and glaciers... The colours are very pure. Being completely alone in places makes you see nature in a completely different way.” A FIELD EXPEDITION to Iceland can
last a week, but a journey to Argentina takes longer and being there demands more logistics. All food and water has to be transported. “There are no roads so we have to drive along dry riverbeds. Sometimes we get stuck because a thorn bush is growing right in the way, so it takes quite a long time.” On their most recent expedition, they slept in tents and cooked over an open fire. There were no toilets and no showers and they washed in a small spring nearby. One day a storm struck. It began to rain and hail, with hailstones the size of cherries, and suddenly the dry riverbed began to fill with water. “Two members of our group just ran away and then a flood wave hit, so it was quite an adventure. We had to take another route and wait a while, because the water disappeared just as fast as it came. We returned to our vehicles and were able to drive back to camp, but we were all pretty wet.” They always travel in a group and are The discovery that magma can crack was made on Iceland.
never alone out in the field. There is a risk of taking a misstep and breaking a leg, and communications with the outside world are often poor. “In Iceland, there’s not always mobile phone coverage and in Argentina, it’s hopeless, so it’s important to know the way back. It’s a bit more adventurous than sitting here in the office,” Burchardt says. The work at the office is also an important part of the research – here, she can twist and turn 3D models, measure and analyse. But for her, it is important to get out and be in nature. “As a geologist and scientist, I want to be close to what I am studying. Even if I use computers, drones, microscopes and advanced measurement methods, under standing nature is still the fundamental thing for me.”
gists measure. If they are big enough, they can be measured even at a distance of several kilometres. This knowledge can also be used to predict volcanic eruptions. “If the symptoms can be measured on the surface, such as earthquakes, and be related to processes in the volcano, it’s much easier to understand if an eruption is impending or not. The actual understanding of processes in the volcano helps to make all such forecasts a little more reliable.” A volcano in south-eastern Iceland has recently shown activity, which has attracted some attention in the media. It is Ice-
land’s largest volcano in terms of both elevation and size, but there are not so many observations to go on. This is because it has only had two eruptions and the last one was in 1727–28. “We don’t know if it’s going to have an eruption or was just moving in its sleep. Since there was a lot of seismic and geo thermal activity and heat under the glacier, it was thought that magma might be on the way up. But the magma may stop on the way into the volcano and it doesn’t necessarily have to rise to the surface. It’s calmed down a bit,” says Burchardt. n
AT HER WORKPLACE, the Department
of Earth Sciences, there are also seismolo gists who listen for earthquakes that can forebode a volcanic eruption. “I often compare them to cardiologists listening to the heartbeat, for symptoms, while I am like a pathologist studying extinct volcanoes. I want to understand the mechanics, how does it work? What does a magma chamber actually look like?” Every earthquake makes a crack in the ground and they are what the seismolo-
SUPERFICIAL MAGMA CHAMBER
DEEP MAGMA CHAMBER
Magma journeys through a network of conduits and chambers at various depths. When the magma reaches the surface of the volcano, it causes an eruption that may lead to lava flows or explosions expelling volcanic ash. UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
HELLO THERE In the autumn semester of 2017, 1,682 students were admitted to international Master’s programmes at Uppsala University. Of them, 1,047 come from countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland. We spoke with two of them.
“I’m glad I chose Uppsala” Nguyen Ha, a scholarship holder from Vietnam, is in the second semester of the Master’s Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies.
Why did you choose Uppsala University specifically? “I studied international relations in Japan and came into contact with Sweden by chance when I represented the country in a UN role-playing exercise. Then I wrote an essay on the Swedish humanitarian intervention in Namibia. That led me to investigate the possibility of further studies in Sweden, one thing led to another and I ended up in Uppsala.” What do you think of the programme so far? “Swedish education is very different from what I experienced in Japan. At my earlier university, the programme followed an American liberal arts model. Students had several courses in parallel during the semester. I think that let us explore our interests, but most of the time we were unable to delve deeper because of limited time. The Swedish model with one course at a time is new for me and I am learning much more about specific subjects. “In the programme, we are 45 students and half of us don’t come from Sweden. We also have various professional backgrounds, which is refreshing and very interesting.” And what have you got out of student life? “Student life was important during my undergraduate studies so I’m glad that I chose Uppsala. Besides the student nations, there are always many activities under way at different campuses. I have even heard some of my friends say that they have a hard time keeping track of everything they want to do. I don’t think it’s so common at other universities, where not so much happens besides the studies. “I like to go to ‘gasque’ parties at the student nations now and then. It’s really interesting to learn more about the traditions. The ‘Goose Dinner’, for example; it’s interesting both what food they serve and the history behind it.” What will you do after your studies? “My plan is to continue with doctoral studies and a PhD, but I don’t know where yet. It will probably not be in Sweden because I want to broaden my horizons. The Master’s programme is very good because we learn a lot about research. For some, it might be too much research, but it suits me well.” n TEXT: ANNICA HULTH PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT
“Fantastic to be in the lab” José Ramón Bárcenas Walls, a scholarship holder from Monterrey, Mexico, is in the second semester of the Master’s Programme in Molecular Medicine. What did it feel like coming to Uppsala? “My first impression was that it is so beautiful in and around Uppsala. The nature is very different from Mexico’s. The forest, the trees... It was overwhelming to come here in the summer when everything was green. I also like the way that so many people cycle, even older people, and that there are good bicycle paths for cyclists and walkways for pedestrians.” What have you learned and experienced so far? “I have just finished my favourite course, genomic and epigenomic medicine. Understanding the molecular causes of different diseases is my great interest. It was fantastic to be in the lab and help in ongoing research projects and implement chip technology in cancer cells. One thing I have got much better at is speaking better English. It’s not so common in Mexico. It’s been very helpful to do presentations for my group and teachers.” What have you thought of student life apart from studies? “The first semester, I didn’t have so much time for that; it was hard work. Now I feel much more at ease and have started going to the gym and playing squash and badminton with my friends. The student nations play a big role for active student life in Uppsala. It’s less expensive and nicer than going out to regular restaurants. One of the best things is that the social life is so international. We are 25 students from different parts of the world. Many of us don’t speak English as a mother tongue, but we still have to communicate and we learn a lot from each other. We are abroad, away from family, friends and familiar surroundings, and that brings us together.” What do your future plans look like? “Because I’m a scholarship holder, I will return to my research centre in Mexico, Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo en Ciencias de la Salud, CIDICS, and work there for a while. Of course, I want to continue with research and eventually do my thesis in molecular medicine. My dream is to become a research director at a life science company. Why not in Uppsala?” n TEXT: HENRIK MÖLLER
UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
Twice a year, students who have earned their PhD are celebrated. The University Main Building fills with people dressed in their best and cannon salutes are fired, both in the morning and during the ceremony.
Over 400 years of doctoral ceremonies
The diploma is always composed in Latin, rolled and sealed, enclosed in a turned wooden box with a ribbon in the colours of the relevant faculty.
THE FIRST doctoral conferment ceremo-
ny was held as early as 1600. During the ceremony in the Grand Auditorium, the new PhDs receive their symbols of honour: a hat or laurel wreath, a diploma and a ring.
TEXT: ANNICA HULTH PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT
At every spring conferment, those who earned their PhDs 50 years earlier are invited as jubilee doctors. At the winter conferment, honorary doctors, who have promoted research in various ways, are honoured. The festivities continue into
the evening with a banquet in the Hall of State at Uppsala Castle. Close to 700 people usually participate in the conferment banquet â€“ the new PhDs and honorary doctors, relatives, invited guests of honour and university employees. n
The laurel wreath is awarded to doctors in the arts faculties. In days gone by, the wreaths were made of leaves from Linnaeus’s 250 year-old laurel in the Botanical Garden. This tradition ended in 1983 when there were no longer enough leaves.
UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
ABOVE. Per Ström, the University’s Master of Ceremonies, is in charge of events throughout the three-hour ceremony. Here he is chatting with students who are about to take part in the procession.
The podium is called Parnassus and symbolises the Greek mountain of the gods. When a promovendus/promovenda is guided across Parnassus, it shows that, from that moment, he or she is endowed with the right to be an academic teacher.
– recent books by Uppsala University researchers
Gustavian style – a Swedish style? WHY HAS THE neoclassical Gustavian
style become so prominent a part of the Swedish self-image? A new dissertation by Hedvig Mårdh shows how art historians, museums, commercial enterprises and the monarchy have all contributed to preserving and conveying the Gustavian style associated with the 18th century and Kings Gustav III and Gustav IV Adolf. The Gustavian style has become intimately associated with a specifically Swedish cultural heritage, linked to Swedish tastes and interior design.
The focus is on three periods – the 1890s, the 1930s–1940s and the 1990s – during which the Gustavian style was defined, revived and mediated in various modes of representation, such as textbooks, exhibitions, period furniture and historically informed performances. n A CENTURY OF SWEDISH GUSTAVIAN STYLE: ART HISTORY, CULTURAL HERITAGE AND NEOCLASSICAL REVIVALS FROM THE 1890S TO THE 1990S BY HEDVIG MÅRDH (2017).
Swedish life in the Twin Cities
DURING THE ERA of Swedish mass emigration to the United States, more members of this group made their homes in Minnesota than in any other state. By 1910 Swedes were the largest ethnic group in Minneapolis, accounting for a quarter of the city’s residents, and the second largest in St Paul. As newcomers, Swedish immigrants managed to leave their mark even as they assimilated to the urban American culture in which they lived and worked. In this book, contributions from twenty-four leading scholars from the United States and Sweden investigate various facets of Swedish life and culture in the Twin Cities. n
Ex-military leader and democrat
Understanding 1950s design
THIS IS THE FIRST English language
publication about the Swedish artist and designer Vicke Lindstrand. The richly illustrated text focuses on Swedish and Scandinavian design during the 1950s and the reception and profile of Vicke Lindstrand. It reconstructs the context in which narratives and rhetoric emerged and analyses its effect on Lindstrand, between 1950–1970. An interesting outcome of this study was the realisation that our understanding of Swedish design is incomplete, and that there is another more pluralist aesthetic concealed behind that officially promoted and exhibited during the 1950s. n
DEMOCRATISATION after war has been identified as a crucial mechanism to build peace in war-ridden societies, by resolving conflict through ballots rather than bullets. But an often ignored by-product of the reliance on elections is that military leaders often become an integral part of the new democratic system, using resources and networks generated by the previous war to dominate the emerging political landscape. Warlord Democrats in Africa brings together a range of contributors to answer a crucial and overlooked question: What is the effect of the inclusion of ex-military leaders in electoral politics on post-war security? n
SWEDES IN THE TWIN CITIES: IMMIGRANT
VICKE LINDSTRAND ON THE PERIPHERY:
LIFE AND MINNESOTA’S URBAN FRONTIER
MID-TWENTIETH CENTURY DESIGN AND
WARLORD DEMOCRATS IN AFRICA- EX
BY PHILIP J. ANDERSON, DAG BLANCK,
THE RECEPTION OF VICKE LINDSTRAND BY
MILITARY LEADERS AND ELECTORAL
MARK IAN JONES (2016).
POLITICS BY ANDERS THEMNÉR (2017).
The impression that Swedish detective novels are critical of society derives from Sjöwall & Wahlöö’s series of novels about Martin Beck, which were also adapted into films.
Kitchen-sink realism and imaginative murders TEXT: ANDERS BERNDT PHOTO: PÄR BÄCKSTRAND/C MORE/TV4
Swedish detective novels typically combine kitchen-sink realism in the small private details with American influences in the description of the murders and perpetrators. “THERE IS A STRONG perception that
Swedish detective novels are critical of society and differ from, say, American and British detective novels, but that view is oversimplified,” explains Karl Berglund, researcher at the Department of Literature. In his thesis, he studied the breadth of Swedish crime literature in three sub-studies. The final part Död och dagishämtningar [“Death and daycare pick-up”] was named non-fiction book of the year for 2017 by the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy. “In the small, private details, the detective novels are realistic, essentially a form of literary kitchen-sink realism,” continues Berglund. “One recognises contemporary life in the details, but the depictions of the crimes and the motives are imaginative and don’t have much to do with reality. They may involve ritual killings or
UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
spectacular clues, for instance. And a very clear influence from the US is the occurrence of serial killers, who hardly exist in reality in Sweden.” THE IMPRESSION that Swedish detect ive novels are particularly critical of society derives from Sjöwall & Wahlöö’s fam ous series of novels about Martin Beck from the 1960s and 1970s. “At the end of the 1990s, the bound ary between popular literature and quality literature became more fluid. At the same time, the Swedish detective novel genre grew quickly and established itself as something that engaged most people. A number of good, innovative stories came out that interested a larger readership and provided perspectives on contemporary life. And one must not forget how important Henning Mankell was. His nov-
els had a distinct socially critical pathos that promised the reader the opportunity of learning something about the world. Social criticism has been frequently used since in the marketing of the genre in the 2000s.” The socially critical Swedish detect ive story that emerged still exists, but the detective novel genre includes much more besides. “There was a large influx of authors and the genre was renewed and broadened. Now, there is room for more kinds of stor ies in the genre, ranging from hard-boiled detective novels to cosy archipelago tales that only have murder in common. The fact that the detective novel genre now encompasses all kinds of stories isn’t so strange since the detective story suits publishers who are keen to predict the next bestseller and have a loyal readership.” n
Choral singing with colleagues EVERY OTHER THURSDAY, at the Musicum building at Kyrkogårdsgatan 4 in Uppsala, around 50 Uppsala University employees meet to sing in a choir. For over a decade, the ‘wellness choir’ Friskör has been attracting members from various parts of the University. “I’ve always wanted to sing, and joined the choir two years ago. It’s lovely that everyone’s welcome and I don’t experience any performance pressure,” says Birgitta Magnusson, a financial administrator at the Financial Administration and Procurement Division. You don’t have to be able to read music
THAT WAS 1968
to join. Members learn by ear, with a lyrics sheet. “Although it’s a wellness choir, we often sing in up to four parts. The rehearsals are recorded and posted on our online platform so you can keep up if you’ve missed one or want to practise at home,” says Erik Åstrand, an administrator at the Department of Education, who is contact person for the choir. “I love singing and think it helps to keep you healthy – and happy,” says Maria Aveskog, an administrator at the Buildings Division. n
IN 1968 the students pounded on the door
following year, they were admitted to the University Board, which was a victory for student influence. n
Exploring space with VR IN THE NEWLY fitted digital Visualisa tion Lab at the Ångström Library, students and staff can try out VR technology and collaborate using interactive screens. The Lab, in operation since September 2017, is a resource for the entire University. Its uses include visualising large amounts of data and simulating environments in 3D. One subject that benefits greatly from the new technology is astronomy. “In astronomy, we can’t do any lab work or travel to the objects we study, but here we can get out into space and do vari ous kinds of simulations,” says Andreas Korn, Senior Lecturer in Physics. Wearing a VR headset, you can explore stars and planetary systems by moving virtually among them. n
PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT
of the University Board, which was led by Vice-Chancellor Torgny Segerstedt. The
Some 50 staff members sing in the University’s wellness choir, led by Arvid Nerdal.
PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT
Physical exercise is not the only route to better health. Choral singing is another way to promote well-being and is also classified as a wellness activity.
The first student in Sweden whose name we know was Olle Johansson. He was from Gotland and studied at Uppsala University. He enrolled at the University in 1477 and studied theology and general philosophy. His legacy was a historical treasure in the form of five years of lecture notes. They are now available in Alvin â€“ a platform for digitised collections.
UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 2018
A buzzing 2018 THE THEME FOR 2018 in the Linnaean
Gardens in Uppsala is pollination and pollinating insects. Butterfly houses, bee hotels and bumble bee nests are being built. The gardens’ botanists and gardeners tell visi tors about plants that can be cultivated
to benefit pollinators. Some events are hosted by beekeepers, who show their hives, talk about beekeeping and arrange honey tasting sessions. Visitors can also meet the Swedish Entomological Society, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and other insect experts.
The project is backed by the Swedish Gardens network, which together with Svenska Bin (Swedish Bees) is calling attention to the need for diversity among pollinators – tame and wild – in all of their gardens and orchards. n
A magazine about research, innovations, people and university life at Uppsala University.