SYMPOSIUM - Opening the Ivory Tower Wide

  • Date: –18:00
  • Location: Biomedicinskt centrum, BMC B8 - the Svedberg Hall (Husargatan 3)
  • Lecturer: Shirin Ahlbäck Öberg, Mats Benner, Petter Brodin, Lars Calmfors, Johan Elf, Björn Eriksson, Bengt Gerdin, Maria Gunther, Anders Hagfeldt, Lars Hultman, Gunnar Ingelman, Sanna Koskiniemi, Ulf Landegren, Jenni Nordborg, David Sumpter, Johan Sundström, Evelina Vågesjö, Sven Widmalm
  • Website
  • Organiser: Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS)
  • Contact person: Klas Holm
  • Workshop

This symposium will discuss and exemplify how academic progress reaches society and makes a wider difference, but also challenges to this process, and consequences for academic freedom.

This is an event of the SCAS Natural Sciences Programme (Measurable Human).


The topic of this symposium is what has been referred to as the “third task” for academia. The two central missions – to do research and to offer teaching – have long been complemented by a mission of public outreach and the charge to spread knowledge and research results to the broader society. The symposium will exemplify how academic progress can reach society and make a wider difference, but also on challenges this process involves and for instance risks this may create for academic freedom.

By way of background, Measurable Human is a program at SCAS, and the collegium was founded in 1985 as the first institute of its kind in Northern Europe. A core component of institutes for advanced study is the Fellowship program, open to applications from across the world. The Collegium is located in Linneanum, a historic building in the Botanic Garden in Uppsala, near the Carolina Rediviva Library, Uppsala Biomedical Center, and other campus areas at Uppsala University. Since a few years SCAS has expanded from its earlier focus on the humanities and social sciences to also address the natural sciences. In this context the Measurable Human program explores effects of the rapidly growing insights in the molecular underpinnings of us humans. This is a topic where academic research increasingly engages with both industry and the general public, and with this symposium we hope to explore how this interaction can best be done, taking advantage of new opportunities and avoiding pitfalls.

I. Path from Scientific Research to Impact and Industry           
II. Freedom vs Impact? Role of Universities and Funders
III. Life Science Research for the Benefit of Patients and Society
IV. Science Communication and Policy Advice

Organizing committee: Nina Schiller, Erik Ullerås, Kristofer Rubin & Ulf Landegren

No registration is required.

For more information and the programme, please see