Here we gather columns written by researchers at Uppsala University. They share both their expertise and their personal reflections, with links to important issues in society and current events.
Some questions we perceive are “bigger” than other questions. What does it mean to live, to be, rather than not to be? When does life begin and when does it end? What is a human being? Does life have a meaning or do we endow it with mere façades of meaning?
In 2000, Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen introduced the concept of the Anthropocene. The idea behind the term is that human impact on the Earth's environment has now become so significant that it justifies the introduction of a new geological epoch.
On 18 October, China’s communist party will begin its 19th National Congress. The party leader, General Secretary Xi Jinping, has used his five years in power to intensively combat the groups within the party that do not belong to his own, thereby strengthening his power.
Li Bennich Björkman
Amartya Sen, who has been awarded the 2017 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, asserts that it is only greater political equality – democracy – that will lead to the many gaining the freedom to govern their own lives.
Enzymes are Nature’s catalysts – reducing the time needed for the chemical reactions that drive life from millions of years to fractions of seconds, thereby driving life itself. Despite extensive effort, such tremendous proficiencies have never been matched in any manmade catalyst.
In late March 2017, United Nations (UN) peacekeepers found the bodies of three UN personnel who were tragically killed in Kasai Central Province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). My Fulbright project has aimed to better understand the dynamics and causes of attacks against aid workers, including UN personnel, as well as the role of and costs for peacekeepers in protecting civilians affected by violence.
Sometimes it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees. In research, there is a particular challenge associated with this saying: we very much want to dissect all information and examine new knowledge in detail. At the same time, it’s important to see the big picture and the larger perspectives.