What is an honorary doctor?
Every year, the last Friday in May, the doctoral degree conferment ceremony is celebrated at Lund University. In a solemn ceremony in Lund Cathedral, the doctoral students who completed their research studies in the past year and successfully defended their doctoral theses at Lund University will have their degrees conferred. At the ceremony, degrees are also conferred on the faculties’
Honorary doctor, in Latin
doctor honoris causa, is a dignity awarded by a faculty. Honorary doctorates are people who have done something great for the university or society, whom the faculty wants to honor and link to their research community.
Often a honorary doctor is an academic from another university, but just as often the honorary doctors join from outside the academic world. Each year, around 20 honorary doctorates are awarded at Lund University and below you find the honorary doctors of 2023.
Information in Swedish about the honorary doctors Faculty of Humanities Jason Diakité has been active as an artist under the name Timbuktu since the early 1990s. He is awarded an honorary doctorate for his innovative writing and versatile artistry, which captures and reflects on essential aspects of humanistic thought and research. Fredrik Tersmeden is an archivist at Lund University and a multi-faceted author. He is appointed an honorary doctorate at the Faculty of Humanities for his many years of enthusiastic dissemination of knowledge about the university’s history and essence, both inside and outside the academy. Faculty of Theology The Swedish writer and poet Johannes Anyuru is named an honorary doctorate at the Faculty of Theology for his sharp and sensitive writing, which does not hesitate to address the burning ethical and political issues of our time such as exclusion, racism and religion. Professor Christine Hayes is professor of religious studies with a focus on Judaism at Yale University in the USA. Hayes is an exceptionally well-regarded scholar and esteemed teacher whose many research areas include rabbinic Judaism and literature, Jewish identity, and Jewish law.
Faculty of Medicine With her knowledge, social and pedagogical competences, Professor Rita Charon is the true pioneer in the field of medical humanities. With dual doctorates in medicine and humanities, the breadth of her interdisciplinary expertise and deep professional foundations, she is at the forefront of medical humanities and how it can be implemented in healthcare. Since Professor David Julius’ discovery of the temperature and pain receptor TRPV1, he has contributed crucial discoveries to understanding how the sense of temperature and pain works. He has been awarded a large number of prestigious prizes and awards for his research and discoveries, most recently in 2021 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Faculty of Science Professor Jan Dhont is a prominent name within soft matter research and colloid chemistry. He has had strong ties with Lund University since 2013. Among other things, he has been involved in the Lund-led “Aniforce” research project and spends at least one month per year at the Division of Physical Chemistry, where he has become a much-appreciated research colleague and inspiring lecturer for doctoral students, who value his curiosity, openness and teaching skills. Faculty of Engineering (LTH) Professor Ulla Vogel is head of Nanotoxicology and Occupational Hygiene at the National Research Centre for Occupational Health and Safety in Copenhagen. She also has several ongoing projects with LTH from the past and has also been Scientific Advisor for NanoLund since 2017. The decision also states that she is “a role model in taking basic and applied research to societal impact and improved legislation” and that she will be a very good ambassador for LTH.
Yasemin Arhan Modéer is CEO of Altitude Meetings and also, among other things, Chairman of the Board of ChildFund Sweden. She has a strong commitment to linking societal needs to expertise in academia and is passionate about sustainability and bringing different actors together to solve climate and health problems. She also works closely with MAX IV and ESS and contributes to the development of the Science Village through The Loop. The decision also states that she can contribute to highlighting LTH’s work with sustainability and climate issues as well as the dialogue with industry.
Professor Ikhlaq Sidhu is Dean of the School of Science and Technology, IE University in Madrid. He has previously started the University of California Berkley’s Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology. He has several previous collaborations with LTH and LTH has a program based on his work on “entrepreneurial mindset”. The decision also emphasizes that he can contribute to the development of LTH’s innovation capacity and that he has a strong international network of contacts. Faculty of Law Professor Helle Krunke is an internationally renowned professor of Constitutional Law at Copenhagen University, where she is Head of the Centre for European and Comparative Legal Studies. Helle Krunke has close ties with the Faculty of Law at Lund University, including through regular collaboration with the public law and EU law research environments. Photo: Lars Bahl
Erik Sjöman, who graduated from the Faculty of Law in 2000, is one of Sweden’s most prominent lawyers in areas such as corporate law, corporate governance and stock market law. Erik has also for a long period of years been a recurring and highly appreciated lecturer on several of the faculty’s advanced courses and he was one of the original initiators of the start of a business law center at Lund University (ACLU). Nowadays, Erik is the chairman of ACLU and in this role, he contributes in a very significant and valuable way to the faculty’s research, education and collaboration, primarily in the field of commercial law. Photo: Magnus Länje School of Economics and Management PhD Anne McCants holds a PhD in history from UC Berkeley in California. She has a broad research interest – historical demography, material culture, early modern trade and consumption, charity, the relationship between economic growth and living standards – but also more interdisciplinary issues around the application of social science research methodology. McCants was between 2018–2022 president of the International Economic History Association and organized the World Economic History Congress in Boston in 2018. She is currently the vice president of the International Economic History Association (IEHA).
PhD Helga Nowotny holds a PhD in sociology from Columbia University in New York and a doctorate in law from the University of Vienna. She has taught and conducted research at several universities and research institutes in various European countries and is still active and engaged in research and innovation policy at an international level. She has been chairman of the European Research Council and in 2006 she was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences as a foreign member in the class for humanities and for outstanding merit in science.
Faculty of Social Sciences Professor Mimi Abramovitz is currently active at the City University of New York. Her academic work has had a major impact in sociology, history, political science and women’s studies. Among her best-known works is Regulating the Lives of Women: Social Welfare Policy From Colonial Times to the Present (1988), where she analyses the welfare state from the perspective of women.
Professor Leonie Huddy is a political scientist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and is originally from Australia. Among other things, she researches American patriotism and national identity, as well as public opinion about the Iraq War. Leonie Huddy is a specialist in the field of political psychology and has over the years researched identity, gender and racial issues. She has been president and vice-president of the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP) and was for many years editor-in-chief of the journal Political Psychology. Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts Gullan Bornemark is a composer and lyricist who has renewed children’s songs in Sweden, from the early 60s onwards. In her compositions, solid craftsmanship, musical quality and pedagogical thought are combined with linguistic finesse and humor. She has created a musical treasure that has lived on through all the changes in society in the last 60 years.
Text by Helga Heun