Linnaeus and Rudbeck Medals Awarded

12 December 2019

The Rudbeck Medal has been awarded to professors Tobias Ekholm, Ulf Gyllensten and Anna Lindström, while Professor Gunnar Broberg of Lund University has been awarded the Linnaeus Medal. The medals will be presented at the Winter Conferment Ceremony on 31 January 2020.

The Uppsala University Linnaeus Medal was first awarded in 23 May 2007 to coincide with the tercentenary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus. The gold medal is primarily conferred ‘for truly outstanding scientific achievement, especially in the Linnaean subject areas but also for meritorious furtherance of the legacy of Linnaeus or Uppsala University’.

This year’s medal is awarded to Professor Gunnar Broberg of Lund University. The justification for the award is as follows:

Gunnar Broberg, professor emeritus at Lund University’s Division of History of Ideas and Sciences, defended his dissertation, Homo sapiens L: Studier i Carl von Linnés naturuppfattning och människolära (Homo sapiens L.: Studies in Linnaeus' concept of nature and his physical anthropology) at Uppsala in 1975 and has constantly returned to Linnaeus in his research. As a member of the Swedish Linnaeus Society, he has also overseen the publication of a number of anthologies on Linnaeus and edited the Society’s yearbook for the past 40 years. Through his recently published biography, Mannen som ordnade naturen (2019, Linnaeus: The Man Who Organized Nature), Broberg stands as the foremost authority on Linnaeus’ life.

Another important areas of Broberg’s research is the history of Swedish eugenics and sterilisation policy. Significantly, and in the spirit of Linnaeus, in all of his works he has written for a readership both within and outside academia, constantly transcending the boundaries between cultural and natural history.

Uppsala University’s Rudbeck Medal was first awarded in 2003. The medal was instituted by the University to commemorate the tercentenary of the death of Olof Rudbeck the Elder. It is awarded ‘for extraordinarily prominent achievements in science, to be conferred primarily for such accomplishments or findings attained at Uppsala University’.

This year’s Rudbeck Medal has been awarded to professors Tobias Ekholm, Ulf Gyllensten and Anna Lindström. The justification for the award is as follows:

Tobias Ekholm is professor of mathematics at the Faculty of Science and Technology’s Department of Mathematics. He conducts research in the fields of symplectic geometry and knot theory. In a unique collaboration with leading theoretical physicists, Ekholm has built an internationally prominent research environment at the Ångström Laboratory that unites mathematics and physics. One stated goal is to better understand the Standard Model describing our most minute particles and how they interact. This demands an interdisciplinary research environment bringing together expertise in gauge theory, quantum field theory and string theory. Ekholm’s research is intended to contribute to overcoming one of the fundamental scientific challenges: a theory that unites the four forces of nature.

Ulf Gyllensten, professor of medical molecular genetics at the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, has studied genetic and molecular epidemiology in humans with considerable success. A combination of molecular biological analysis and mathematical models has facilitated studies of biological variation in different human populations and interactions with surrounding environmental factors. Another project deals with studies of cervical cancer and links to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Professor Gyllensten has also developed a test for HPV infection in order to identify women at risk of developing the disease.

Anna Lindström is professor of languages and social interaction at the Faculty of Languages’ Department of Scandinavian Languages. Conducting research at the intersection of sociology, linguistics and social medicine, she is internationally prominent in the field of ethnomethodological conversation analysis. Professor Lindström has developed research into language and aging, interaction in childbirth and early motherhood, as well as communication in primary healthcare, especially regarding the prescription of antibiotics. Her research also encompasses such topics as the grammar of conversational language, the negotiation of solidarity and social proximity in everyday interactions, conversational practices in the exercise of public authority and diachronic and synchronic studies of Swedish discourse markers.

Learn more about the university’s prizes and awards.