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.

Anne Reath Warren and Hassan Sharif:

Mother tongue instruction or Swedish? Pupils want both

Multicultural Sweden needs a substantial expansion in both mother tongue instruction and teaching of Swedish as a second language. It is not only schoolchildren’s language development but also affirmation of their identity and background that count, write researchers Anne Reath Warren and Hassan Sharif.

Thomas Persson:

Shadow of Brexit over European elections

The European elections will have a decisive impact on the future direction of the Union. But Britain’s divorce anguish may now bring a risk of key future issues for the EU being sidelined when Europe’s attention returns once more to the UK’s domestic policy conflict. Brexit is thus casting a shadow over what are regarded as the most important European elections ever. Column by Thomas Persson, Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Government.

Katarina Blomkvist:

“Tepid is not nearly warm enough”

“The digital change process has begun in earnest and the organisations that will flourish are those that have a dynamic digital intrapreneurship.” Column by Katarina Blomkvist, senior lecturer at the Department of Business Studies and one of the authors of a new report on digital intrapreneurship.

Kevin Anderson:

"Climate change is ultimately a rationing issue"

The IPCC report meticulously lays out how the serious climate impacts of 1.5°C of warming are still far less destructive than those for 2°C. Sadly, the IPCC then fails, again, to address the profound implications of reducing emissions in line with both 1.5 and 2°C. Dress it up however we may wish, climate change is ultimately a rationing issue.

Lars Burman

Release the collections!

Over a five-year period, SEK 175 million will go towards digitalisation and making cultural heritage collections available. The digitalisation work that will be carried out in the next few years will lead to a significant amount of exciting new cutting-edge research, especially in the humanities and social sciences. Column by Lars Burman, chief librarian at Uppsala University Library

Pär Segerdahl

Big questions do not have small answers

Some questions we perceive are “bigger” than other questions. What does it mean to live, to be, rather than not to be? When does life begin and when does it end? What is a human being? Does life have a meaning or do we endow it with mere façades of meaning?

Jacob Höglund

Should we save small endangered species?

In 2000, Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen introduced the concept of the Anthropocene. The idea behind the term is that human impact on the Earth's environment has now become so significant that it justifies the introduction of a new geological epoch.

Oscar Almén

Xi Jiping’s political power is now being tested

On 18 October, China’s communist party will begin its 19th National Congress. The party leader, General Secretary Xi Jinping, has used his five years in power to intensively combat the groups within the party that do not belong to his own, thereby strengthening his power.

Li Bennich Björkman

“Liberty, equality, fraternity!”

Amartya Sen, who has been awarded the 2017 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, asserts that it is only greater political equality – democracy – that will lead to the many gaining the freedom to govern their own lives.

Lynn Kamerlin

Tracing the mechanisms of enzymes

Enzymes are Nature’s catalysts – reducing the time needed for the chemical reactions that drive life from millions of years to fractions of seconds, thereby driving life itself. Despite extensive effort, such tremendous proficiencies have never been matched in any manmade catalyst.

Larissa Fast

Studying Violence: When Research and the Real World Collide

In late March 2017, United Nations (UN) peacekeepers found the bodies of three UN personnel who were tragically killed in Kasai Central Province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). My Fulbright project has aimed to better understand the dynamics and causes of attacks against aid workers, including UN personnel, as well as the role of and costs for peacekeepers in protecting civilians affected by violence.

Hans Ellegren

Lifting our gaze

Sometimes it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees. In research, there is a particular challenge associated with this saying: we very much want to dissect all information and examine new knowledge in detail. At the same time, it’s important to see the big picture and the larger perspectives.