• 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
Music
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photot: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The summer may be (almost) over but the music will keep on playing here at The Local. Our resident music guru Paul Connolly will be selecting his top new Swedish tracks for us in a new monthly feature. READ  

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

African pygmy hedgehogs are being bought by growing numbers of Swedes, as a trend for keeping exotic pets sweeps the country, the Department for Animal Welfare and Health tells The Local. READ  

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden
The mushroom in this picture is not the same as the one from the story. Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden

A person selling freshly-picked mushrooms in Gothenburg has come under fire after it turned out the delicacies were not only poisonous but also hallucinogenic. READ  

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of "unreasonable" tactics. READ  

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

As H&M expands into Ethiopia, Sweden's state venture capital unit Swedfund has announced that it will back the clothing giant, in a move hoped to create more jobs for local women. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats reveal election manifesto
Photo: TT

Social Democrats reveal election manifesto

UPDATED: Sweden's main opposition party the Social Democrats has revealed its election manifesto at a press conference at a high school in Stockholm, with a key focus on education and welfare benefits. READ  

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

A teenage boy is in a critical condition after he was hit by a passing metro train in Stockholm. The accident ground rail traffic to a halt, and has police suspecting attempted murder. READ  

Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission
Swedish director Ruben Östlund on set. Photo. TT

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission

The movie set to represent Sweden at the 2015 Academy Awards was revealed on Monday, a film that has already won awards abroad. READ  

Amphetamines
Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

A 53-year-old man has been prosecuted after police in western Sweden made one of their largest drug seizures in the area. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »

 

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 
 
 
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
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

746
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