Elite program for young researchers proposed

Sweden's higher education and research minister proposed launching an elite program for young scientists on Wednesday, citing the need to improve Swedish research.

Elite program for young researchers proposed
Photo: Hans Bjurling/AlbaNova University Center/Image Bank Sweden (file)

In an article on Dagens Nyheter’s opinion page on Wednesday, Krantz wrote that the proposed elite program would give young researchers the chance to receive good funding for a certain amount of time and greater freedom to develop their research.

Scientists will be recruited from different scientific disciplines. When fully developed, the program is expected to include around 100 scientists. The inspiration for the proposal comes from a similar project in the US, which has produced good results.

Krantz wrote in the opinion piece that Sweden is one of the countries which invests the most in research and development, but has not succeeded at all in taking advantage of the extensive investments.

Marie Granlund, the Social Democrats’ education policy spokeswoman, believes the advisory group of researchers to the government has done a good job, but the government has not impressed.

“This is a bit of Krantz playing Santa Claus when the proposals can be implemented in only three years,” she said. “In the meantime, we have had proposals on investing in young researchers that the centre-right government has voted against.”

She added, “As for government investment in basic education, the government has done nothing there.”

However, the Swedish Association of University Teachers (Sveriges universitetslärarförbund, SULF) is receptive to the group’s proposal, although one important point is missing, according to SULF President Anna Götlind.

“A requirement for the elite researchers is that they want to receive an undergraduate education linked to research-related education,” she said in a press release.

“The group appears to have completely overlooked the need for resources linked to research tied with funding for undergraduate education. Without an academic undergraduate education of the highest class, it will not produce elite researchers,” she added.

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Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime