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Nobel Week at Stockholm University: a testimony of the power of science and literature

8 January 2024
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Stockholm University celebrated in December the Nobel Week. Lectures were held in Aula Magna by this year's Nobel Laureates, while the opening speech at the Nobel Prize Ceremony was given by the Stockholm University's President, Astrid Söderbergh Widding, as the new Chairman of the Foundation's Board.
Astrid Söderbergh Widding at the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall

Professor Söderbergh Widding began her speech by reminding that Narges Mohammadi had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia earlier in the day for the fight against the oppression of women in Iran and the fight for human rights and freedom for all. As was Alfred Nobel's will, the importance of international cooperation and respect for science – not least in times of crisis and polarization, was emphasized:

The scientific breakthroughs of this year…all serve as powerful examples of the importance of forerunners who pave the way, as well as of the manifold faces of science (...) The laureates being awarded tonight, each in a unique way, testify to the power of science and literature. They show us that individually and together, we have it within ourselves to change the world.

In her capacity as Chair of the Nobel Foundation, Astrid Söderbergh Widding then welcomed King Carl XVI Gustaf during the banquet hosted by the Nobel Foundation at Stockholm City Hall. 

Great interest in the Nobel Lectures in Aula Magna

The official Nobel Prize lectures given under the auspices of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA) were open to the public, therefore all 1,000 seats in Aula Magna were quickly fully booked.

photo: Jens Lasthein for SU

This edition's lecturers were the laureates in physics, chemistry and economics. Among those who were there to listen to the Nobel Lecture in Physics was Eva Lindroth, Professor of Physics at Stockholm University. She conducts research in attosecond physics, the research area that is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2023: 

I have a long-standing research collaboration with the Nobel Laureate in Physics, Anne L'Huillier at Lund University, so the fact that she receives the prize this year is special. I look forward to being inspired by the laureates and hearing how they present their research, said professor Lindroth. 


SU professors sharing memories and experience as members of the Nobel committee

Researchers behind the Nobel Prize is the name of the video campaign created by the Stockholm University in order to highlight the experience one might have as a member of the Nobel committee. Professors Åsa Wikforss and Gunnar von Heijne shared their memories and expertise on how the laureates are selected:



Enjoy the full story in Swedish here