New leaders elected for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

At yesterday’s General Meeting, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences elected its two foremost representatives, who will take over the roles of the current President and Permanent Secretary on 1 July 2015.

Christina Moberg to be the new President

The new President, the foremost representative of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, will be Christina Moberg. She is a member of the Academy’s class for chemistry and will take over the position from Barbara Cannon.

Christina Moberg, born in 1947, is a researcher in organic chemistry at the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH. She earned her doctorate in 1975 and ever since then, except for periods as a visiting researcher at universities in France, she has worked at KTH, where she now leads a research group. Previous positions have included vice president and vice dean of faculty at KTH.Christina Moberg’s research deals with asymmetric catalysis, focusing on new selection methods for producing molecules with specific qualities, which are of great significance in the production of pharmaceuticals, for example.

In 1998 she was awarded the Göran Gustafsson Prize in Chemistry for her achievements in synthetic organic chemistry, particularly for the methods with which she succeeded in solving the problem of dangerous mirror forms of molecules. She has also received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Science at Lund University.

Between 2008 and 2011 she was the Second Vice-President of the Academy.

“As the new President, I see one important task being to emphasise the significance of basic science in social development. There is a risk that we concentrate too many resources on contemporary problems, forgetting that the primary task of scholarly research is to find solutions for as yet unidentified questions, thus fulfilling the needs of future generations,” she says.

The President is the foremost representative of the Academy, leading its meetings; there are also three vice presidents, all of whom are elected to their posts for a specific period of time. Along with the Permanent Secretary, which is a full-time position, they make up the Academy’s Presiding Committee. The first president of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was Carl Linnaeus.

Göran K. Hansson new Permanent Secretary for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has elected a new Permanent Secretary. Göran K. Hansson, professor at Karolinska Institutet, will take over this position.
Göran K. Hansson, who was born in Lysekil in 1951, is a member of the Academy’s class for medical sciences and Secretary of the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet.
He will take over from the current Permanent Secretary, Staffan Normark, on 1 July 2015. The Permanent Secretary leads the Academy’s activities, is the head of the Academy’s secretariat and is responsible for ensuring that the decisions of the Academy Board are enacted.

“It is an incredible honour to be appointed to this important position. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has played a vital role in research for 250 years and continues to be of great significance for the sciences in this country. More than ever before, the Academy is needed as science’s voice in social debate,” says Göran K. Hansson.

Do you predict any particular direction for the Academy in the future, something you feel to be of special importance?

“Reinforcing our position as an independent voice for science and knowledge-based development. It is also important to offer a meeting place for researchers, to provide research financiers with expert statements, to evaluate research, and to award the Nobel Prize and other scientific prizes,” he says.

Hansson received his doctorate in histology, the study of biological tissue, from the University of Gothenburg in 1980. In 1994 he was appointed Professor of Experimental Cardiovascular Research at Karolinska Institutet and now works with research into the immune system’s role in cardiovascular disease. His discoveries include how cholesterol build-ups in the blood vessels can activate the immune system, leading to inflammation and the formation of blood clots.

In 1981 and 1982, Göran K. Hansson was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. In 1981 he was made associate professor in histology at the University of Gothenburg and, in 1989, in clinical chemistry at the same university. He was Professor of Cell Biology at the University of Gothenburg in 1994-95, visiting professor at the Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, in 2008, and became a Distinguished Professor at Karolinska Institutet in 2010. He has led the Linnaeus Centre for research into inflammation and cardiovascular disease since 2009.

This year marks the 275th anniversary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Academy was founded in 1739 and is an independent organization whose overall objective is to promote the sciences and strengthen their influence in society. The Academy takes special responsibility for the natural sciences and mathematics, but endeavours to promote the exchange of ideas between various disciplines.

Göran K. Hansson
Professor of experimental cardiovascular research
Karolinska Institutet
+46 851776222

Press contact
Jessica Balksjö Nannini
Press Officer
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
+46 86739544, +46 70673 96 50