Hans Ellegren new Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

2021-10-11

Hans Ellegren, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Uppsala University, has been elected new Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He will succeed Professor Göran K. Hansson at the turn of the year 2021–2022. As Secretary General, he hopes to be able both to watch over the Academy’s historical heritage and ensure that the organisation is active here and now.

Hans Ellegren

Hans Ellegren, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Uppsala University. Photograph: Mikael Wallerstedt

Hans Ellegren, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Uppsala University, has been elected new Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He will succeed Professor Göran K. Hansson at the turn of the year 2021–2022. As Secretary General, he hopes to be able both to watch over the Academy’s historical heritage and ensure that the organisation is active here and now.

Hans Ellegren, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Uppsala University, has been elected new Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He will succeed Professor Göran K. Hansson at the turn of the year 2021–2022. As Secretary General, he hopes to be able both to watch over the Academy’s historical heritage and ensure that the organisation is active here and now.

Professor Ellegren was elected Secretary General at the General Meeting of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on the evening of Wednesday 9 June.

“I am delighted and honoured to be entrusted with this role,” says Ellegren. “The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is precisely the type of organisation I want to promote. I think this is the most enjoyable, most important and finest position anyone could have in academic Sweden. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is a completely independent organisation dedicated to the best interests of the sciences and can do a great deal to benefit Swedish research.”

Ellegren was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2010, as a member of the class for biosciences. In recent years he has chaired the Research Policy Committee and has been Second Vice President of the Academy Board.

Communicating the role of science

He takes on his new role inspired by a commitment to research and its potential.

“As I see it, the Academy should be playing a role in present day society. Research policy is one arena in which we can contribute, but we can also be active in outreach and provide society with relevant knowledge on important issues,” says Ellegren. “The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is an expert organisation without peer. Our membership combines an enormous amount of knowledge and wisdom. We need to get out there and tell people how important the sciences are!

“We have seen increasing political control of higher education institutions and the spread of bureaucracy. More than ever, we need an independent voice to assert the significance of the sciences and research in society, and to defend academic freedom.”

A heritage to maintain

The post of Secretary General is a full-time role and Ellegren will have overall responsibility for the Academy’s activities. He is the third person from Uppsala University to be named Secretary General of the Academy. The first was Pehr Elvius in 1744, the second Carl-Olof Jacobsson, then dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, in 1989. Other professors associated with Uppsala have held the post, including Daniel Melanderhielm in 1797.

“There is a heritage to be maintained and it is important to have respect for what has been built up in the course of the centuries,” says Ellegren. “However, I hope we can combine that heritage with being a modern organisation with contemporary relevance.

Anna Malmberg

Nyheter från institutionen för ekologi och genetik

Last modified: 2021-04-20