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Dan Larhammar new Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences chair

15 January 2018

Dan Larhammar, Professor of Molecular Cell Biology at Uppsala University, has been elected as the new President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Accordingly, Larhammar will become the Academy’s chair and foremost representative.

Dan Larhammar. Foto: Markus Marcetic
Professor Dan Larhammar. Foto: Markus Marcetic

Professor Larhammar was appointed as the the Academy of Sciences’ new President on 13 December. After taking office on 1 July 2018, he will be the chair and primary spokesman for the Academy.

“It’s wonderful to get an offer like this from such a distinguished, stable and well-functioning organisation. I look forward to being able to work with the Academy’s proficient members and staff on bringing scientific knowledge out into society,” says Larhammar.

Larhammar, essentially a pharmacist, heads a research group of six people in neurobiology and, in parallel, teaches nine courses on Uppsala University’s Medicine and Biomedicine Programmes. In 2016, Dan Larhammar received the Pharmacist of the Year award from the Swedish Pharmacists’ Association, for achievements including his dedication to scientific evidence and criticism of pseudoscience. He pursued the latter as, for example, chair of the Swedish Sceptics’ Association in 1998–2004.

“I have broad scientific interests and am passionate about popular education. I’ve devoted 20 years to defending and explaining science, and I see a great opportunity to continue that work as President of the Academy of Sciences.”

As President, Larhammar will take on a key function in the Academy’s work of contributing scientific foundations for public debates and decision-making, and communicating the importance of long-term research initiatives and the importance of basic research for developing new knowledge.

“I hope to convey that the Academy of Sciences is a superb knowledge resource in many contexts. The Academy possesses tremendously broad expertise that we can become better at bringing to bear in society at large,” Larhammar says.