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.
Climate change ups the risk of going through the ice
26 januari 2023
Many people like the idea of heading out onto the ice on a fine winter’s day. But how safe is it actually to walk on a frozen lake? Does ice behave in the same way in a warmer climate as it always used to? These questions have been central to an i...
Political exclusion risks undermining democracy
05 december 2022
COLUMN. There are clear signs that the current political system is unable to offer all people equal opportunities to participate in political life by voting or standing as a candidate for important political positions. This is the assessment of Ka...
The energy crisis may lead to greater efficiency
31 oktober 2022
The energy crisis has the potential to spawn more active and flexible electricity consumers and thus a more efficient electricity market and use of the grid. That said, there are factors that may counter this positive development. So writes Cajsa ...
Public health at stake with universal experts
12 september 2022
COLUMN. Research into the relationship between food and health is often hampered by universal experts whose authority is based on a combination of combativeness and self-confidence, rather than subject knowledge, write Professor Tommy Cederholm of...
Why go and vote in the autumn elections?
07 juni 2022
COLUMN. Uncertainty is the fundamental existential condition of democracy. When we go to vote, we share that uncertainty about the future equally among us. We can reassess our decisions and judgements. As Professor of Political Science Sofia Nässt...
The perils of procrastination
25 mars 2022
COLUMN. Putting off what needs to be done, against our own better judgement, is surely a habit we can all identify with. For some individuals, however, the associated problems may be so severe as to affect their health, well-being and self-image a...
Powerful voice for democracy and academic freedom
24 mars 2022
Today, academic freedom and democracy are under threat around the world, including nearby European countries. And Uppsala University has a key part to play. In the next few years, research on democracy will gain new depth. The University will also...
We need to do more research on cannabis
15 februari 2022
COLUMN. Though studies of the medical effects of cannabis are growing in scope, we still lack essential knowledge. Therefore, all discussions about legalisation and decriminalisation must be preceded by genuine and extensive research, states Fred ...
Saying and doing are two different things
18 januari 2022
COLUMN. While more and more people say Yes and Amen when you ask them about the importance of living in a more environmentally conscious and sustainable way, few actually change their behaviour, writes Katarina Graffman, PhD in cultural anthropology.
Herring and sprat: silver of the sea that turned into sand
08 december 2021
COLUMN. “I’m passionate about understanding the genetic background of biodiversity development and I’d like our research to culminate in more sustainable use of herring and sprat, which are a superb resource,” writes Leif Andersson, Professor of F...
Climate negotiations are not greenwashing waffle
11 november 2021
COLUMN. While every scientifically well-founded study shows that emissions must be reduced both vastly and rapidly if we are to achieve adopted climate goals, to say that ‘they’ are engaging in greenwashing is at best unfounded and lacking in insi...
University Library enters its fifth century
08 oktober 2021
“The Library’s normal situation has been one of constant change and development, although outsiders haven’t always been at all aware of this,” writes Lars Burman, Director of Uppsala University Library, which celebrates its quatercentenary this ye...
Climate extremes magnify social inequalities
09 september 2021
COLUMN. “It is often those who are socially or economically marginalised that are more vulnerable and experience the biggest impacts,” writes Gabriele Messori, Associate Professor and Docent in Meteorology, whose research focuses on extreme climat...
Taking the first steps into the world of quantum materials
09 juni 2021
Quantum materials will be one of the cornerstones of future technology and thus a key component of engineering knowledge in our society. If Sweden is to play a prominent role in an international arena, we must provide our engineers with the opport...
Linnaeus’ complicated relationship with racism
07 maj 2021
Since June 2020, Carl Linnaeus has been a subject of debate in Sweden and around the world. What sparked it off were the actions of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Statues of slave owners have been lambasted or destroyed. In Sweden, the dis...
The plague year of 1710 was also a difficult year
24 februari 2021
As historians, it is our job to take a step back and give perspective to our current situation. For anyone looking back, it isn’t hard to find other difficult years. In Sweden’s past, 1710 was undoubtedly one such year, writes Jonas Lindström, res...
Antibodies - for better or worse
09 november 2020
Immune cells protect us from contagions and keep us healthy, but sometimes they mistakenly attack our own bodies in autoimmune diseases. There are still no cures for autoimmune diseases, but, in my research team, we are studying how monoclonal, or...
The Ten Equations you need to know…
01 oktober 2020
COLUMN. Maths is often seen in terms of a lonely genius trying to answer a difficult obscure riddle. For me, maths has never been like that. In my research at Uppsala University I have used maths to model everything – from ant trails and fish scho...
“The American dilemma is far from resolved”
15 juni 2020
The police violence in Minneapolis that resulted in the death of George Floyd has once again thrust relations between black and white Americans onto the agenda, a dilemma that will most likely play a central role in this autumn’s presidential elec...
“We have to decide how we will let AI impact our lives”
12 maj 2020
Artificial intelligence is here to stay, and its impact on our lives will continue to expand. With the five-year AI for Research initiative, Uppsala University is taking an interdisciplinary approach to developing this new technology, writes Thoma...