Eva Lundgren, a sociologist professor at top-rated Uppsala University, has been the subject of a sustained media campaign since she appeared in the controversial SVT Documentary Könskriget (“The Gender War”).
In that documentary, Lundgren said that she had received testimony about hundreds of ritual baby murders in Sweden carried out by male satanist groups. She has also been criticised for claiming that half of all women in Sweden have been subjected to violence by men.
Now, university bosses have said that the “strong reactions” to Lundgren’s research mean that they need to conduct a “proper investigation.”
“We want to defend Eva Lundgren as a researcher, and want also to defend the confidence that the public has in research, particularly in this field,” said Uppsala University’s vice-chancellor Bo Sundqvist in a press release.
A planned debate at the university on men’s violence against women, in which Eva Lundgren was due to meet her critics, has been postponed indefinitely. Bo Rothstein, one of Lundgren’s fiercest critics, had refused to take part in the debate, reported Uppsala Nya Tidning. Rothstein said that the university was trying to get itself out of a tight spot by organising a “media spectacle.”
The university itself said the debate had been called off because it hadn’t been possible to organise a “sufficient balance of views” on the problem.
As news of the investigation broke, Expressen reported that Lundgren is also “secretly researching the Knutby murders”. The paper reported that Lundgren visits pastor Helge Fossmo in his prison cell every week. Fossmo was convicted for muder last year.
Expressen says it was unclear what Lundgren’s purpose was, although it said that her conversations with Fossmo centres on “God’s control of people.”
The paper reported that university bosses were unaware of Lundgren’s visits to Fossmo.
Lundgren will initially be investigated by the dean of the social science faculty. The results of this investigation will be passed on to the vice-chancellor, who will decide whether the investigation needs to be taken further. One option could be to ask the Swedish Research Council’s ethics committee to look at the question.
Eva Lundgren herself has criticised the university for investigating her, saying that it has allowed itself to be steered by the press.
“A crazy media description [of the research]…should be too weak as grounds for starting an investigation,” she told UNT.
Although she has criticised the way her comments were edited in the documentary, she has not completely dissociated herself from the controversial comments.
“I look positively on the fact I will be judged on my research, and not on the scurrilous portrait of my research that has been shown in a very biased and heavily edited programme,” she said.