Letter from the Dean

Last changed: 03 July 2020
Portrait photo of Torleif Härd.

Wishing you happy, multidisciplinary holidays

We are approaching the end of the year, and I wish to thank you all for your contributions in 2017. It has been an eventful year. Around 70 doctoral students and postdocs have joined our faculty's different departments; this has truly been a boost to our operations. The year has also been characterised by strategic recruitments of associate senior lecturers, senior lecturers and professors – I wish all our new colleagues most welcome to our faculty.

We are a big faculty with operations in a broad range of fields. It can be frustrating to hear us described as 'straggly'. Nothing could be further from the truth; we are wide-ranging, and we are strong. Our work stretches from molecular research, soil science and technology through biology, ecology and environmental science to social sciences such as rural development, communication, history and economics. This breadth makes us well prepared for teaching and conducting research on important societal issues. This includes, as you know, the food production of the future and its impact on the environment and the climate, as well as biodiversity and management of our natural resources. It is perhaps not widely known that our work also covers the transition from a fossil-dependent to a bio-based economy. This transition will not only transform society, it will also require new transdisciplinary research and new content in our courses and programmes.

I believe we can use our faculty's strengths even more by focusing on the transdisciplinary aspect in our teaching and research. This is why transdisciplinarity is included in the faculty strategy, and I am awarding planning grants for transdisciplinary projects including two or more departments (short applications are welcome ...). So please take a moment or two to reflect on transdisciplinarity during the holidays. I wish you all a pleasant and enjoyable break!

/Torleif Härd, Dean

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