• Sweden edition
 
SPONSORED ARTICLE
Stockholm University: A very Nobel institution

Stockholm University: A very Nobel institution

Published: 04 Dec 2012 11:26 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Dec 2012 11:26 GMT+01:00

From a historical perspective, the city, and its high seats of learning have developed hand in hand and the fact that the two are tied so closely has been of mutual benefit and significance ever since the prizes were first awarded.

Sweden has a long and proud history of academic excellence, with universities dating back to the 15th Century.

Stockholm University itself was established as a University college as early as 1878, eventually to gain full university status in 1960. Thanks in part to Alfred Nobel, its importance gained momentum in the early 1900s.

"One of the main external factors in Stockholm’s success is the connection with the Nobel Prizes," says Stockholm University history professor Lars Nilsson.

At the university itself, Nobel forms one of the busiest and most significant highlights of the annual calendar.

A series of events are held each year, culminating in the ceremony itself and the social highlight of the year, the post Nobel-Fest party.

Although the ceremony doesn't take place until December 10, Stockholm University’s involvement begins much earlier, playing a key role in the committees appointed to decide the winners of the Nobel Prizes, as well as the Economic Sciences Award.

The complex process of choosing Nobel Prize winners in chemistry, physics, and economics is carried out by three committees at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, with the secretaries of the Committees of Chemistry and Physics Prizes both professors at Stockholm University.

Astrid Gräslund, a Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, is secretary of the chemistry committee, while Professor of Organic Chemistry Jan-Erling Bäckvall, is also a member.

Gräslund is fully aware that Nobel week has much more than merely a historical significance for the capital.

"December 10 is perhaps the one day of the year when Stockholm is in the spotlight more than any other, from the international journalists to the limousines out on the streets. It really feels like an extra special occasion for the city and the people," she says.

The Secretary of the Nobel Committee for Physics, Professor Lars Bergström works at Stockholm University's Department of Physics. Meanwhile, four university researchers are members of the Committee for the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

Elsewhere, Kjell Espmark, Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Stockholm University is a member of the Swedish Academy's Nobel Committee for Literature, while Anders Olsson, Professor of Literature, and Goran Malmqvist, Professor Emeritus of Chinese, are two of the eighteen voting members of the Swedish Academy.

Furthermore, Johan Rockström, Professor in natural resource management was also appointed Chair of the Nobel Laureate Symposium in 2011. Rockström, who is also Executive Director of Stockholm Resilience Centre, is an internationally renowned expert on global sustainability issues and was awarded 'Swede of the Year' in 2009 for his work on climate change.

And Ariel Goobar, another professor from the university is part of the research group led by Saul Perlmutter, the Nobel Laureate in Physics for 2011.

With so many links to the prize committees, it is little wonder why Stockholm University takes such pride in its Nobel links.

Once the names of the Laureates have been chosen, preparations begin for the ceremony itself and a whole host of events around the awards begins.

Every year prizewinners hold a lecture in the Aula of the university, which will take place this year on December 8. "It is a huge thing for the university, both for its own reputation, as well as for current students," says Astrid Gräslund.

"The Aula can hold some 1,000 people, so it gives the students and lecturers from the university the chance to hear the lectures and feel part of the event. It is certainly one of the highlights of the academic year for many who study here."

This year’s Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature, Mo Yan, will visit Stockholm University and read excerpts from his work in the Aula Magna.

Yan, who in addition to his novels has published numerous essays and novellas is one of China's foremost writers, whose work is often compared stylistically to the likes of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez.

For those wishing to attend, the event takes place on December 9 and after his readings Mo Yan will answer questions from the audience.

Last year's literature prize honour went to Tomas Tranströmer, a Stockholm University alumni and the first Swede in 40 years to be awarded the prize, who also made an appearance.

The Swedish poet, an honorary doctor as well as a former employee at the University read literature and poetics at what was Stockholm University College at the time, before becoming Stockholm University in 1960.

Tranströmer joined a small and exclusive group of academics with connections to the university to be honoured.

The first was Svante Arrhenius, who took the 1903 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the first of four Swedes to take the prize; Hans von Euler-Chelpin won in 1929, George de Hevesy 14 years later, and in 1995, Paul Crutzen’s Nobel award came for his research on the ozone layer in the atmosphere.

Beyond chemistry, the Economics Prize was awarded to another former Stockholm University student, Gunnar Myrdal in 1974, for his work in monetary and economic theory.

But Nobel is not all just about academic achievements for Stockholm University. Each year the students get the chance to take part in the Nobel Nightcap, the traditional post-ceremony party.

The original idea for the party came about in 1978, when one student felt that festivities ended far too early in the evening, considering the profile and significance of the event and the banquet.

It has become an integral part of Nobel week and an unmissable memory for all who take part.

It rounds off what is a highlight for all those studying in the city, and Stockholm’s chance to once again show the rest of the world why it has such a sky-high reputation.

Article sponsored by Stockholm University

Related links:

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Sweden Floods
Flood chaos continues with more rain forecast
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Flood chaos continues with more rain forecast

UPDATED: Sweden's floods are set to continue over the weekend with the national weather agency predicting more showers for some of the affected areas. READ  

Elections 2014
Reinfeldt better at handling a crisis: Poll

Reinfeldt better at handling a crisis: Poll

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's hopes for remaining in office has been given a boost after more Swedes said they had greater faith in him handling a crisis compared to election rival Stefan Löfven. READ  

Gaza & Robin Williams: Swedes' Google habits
Actor Robin Williams. Photo: AP

Gaza & Robin Williams: Swedes' Google habits

The internet search giant has revealed what Swedes googled for most over the summer period with the top 10 made up of diverse search topics ranging from sport to wasp stings READ  

Dad jailed for assaulting his infant twin sons
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Dad jailed for assaulting his infant twin sons

A man in central Sweden was sentenced to prison for aggravated assault on Friday after doctors noticed that both his twin sons had sustained serious and unexplained injuries. READ  

Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Clocking in. File photo: Shutterstock

Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial

Officials finalized plans on Friday for the "Gothenburg guinea pigs" who will test out the six-hour workday, a move it's hoped will cut down on sick leave, boost efficiency, and ultimately save Sweden money. READ  

Armed royal guards caught drunk on the job
Photo: Gunnar Lundmark/TT

Armed royal guards caught drunk on the job

Three Swedish soldiers risk prison after they were found to be drunk while guarding Stockholm's Royal Palace. The men, who were all armed at the time, were charged on Friday. READ  

Stockholm
What do the Swedes do when summer's over?
Photo: Isabela Vrba

What do the Swedes do when summer's over?

The heatwave is well and truly over, the days are getting shorter, and winter is coming. With this in mind, The Local's Isabela Vrba chatted to ten Stockholmers about how they plan to tackle the autumn. READ  

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend

Swedes are spending more than ever on makeup - and a growing chunk is going directly to their fingernails, new figures showed on Friday. READ  

Sweden mulls stripping paracetamol from shops
The pharmacy section of a grocery store. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden mulls stripping paracetamol from shops

After a drastic increase in the number of paracetamol poisonings in Sweden, authorities have said the drug should only be available in pharmacies. READ  

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden
File photo: Andreas Hagerman/Flickr

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden

After finding traces of listeria in ham sold in Sweden, food companies decided on Friday to recall several Danish cold cuts. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Features
Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

729
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se