Published: 2021-11-17 15:20 | Updated: 2021-11-19 08:52

Twice as many new doctors conferred

The Blue Hall during the Conferment Ceremony on November 12, 2021. Photo: Ulf Sirborn

After an 18-month hiatus due to the pandemic, the doors to KI's conferment ceremony at Stockholm City Hall could finally be reopened. Not only one – but two nights in a row – the organizers Akademiska arranged ceremonies held to celebrate all new doctors who have defended their doctoral thesis in the autumn 2019 and spring 2020 along with honorary doctors and jubilee doctors.

To the sound of the string chapel's music, finely dressed and expectant guests arrived at the city hall on both evenings, Thursday, 11 November and Friday, 12 November, to celebrate the new doctors who achieved the highest of academic degrees.

President Ole Petter Ottersen started the evening with a festive speech: 

President Ole Petter Ottersen started the evening with a festive speech. Photo: Ulf Sirborn

"Tonight, science is represented through several different perspectives. Partly the time aspect, in which our doctoral students and jubilee doctors represent the experience and history that KI possesses. And partly, the global perspective, where we pay attention to our honorary doctors who come from three different countries. During the pandemic, researchers, in particular those from KI, have taken over the stage and communicated research to society at large to an extent that I have never before experienced. I want to thank you for that."

The jubilee doctors were presented by conferrer Birgitta Henriques Normark and received diplomas as a sign of their doctoral dignity.

Honorary doctors 2020, from the right: Pascale Cossart, Sven Hagströmer, and Thomas Sakmar. Photo: Ulf Sirborn

At Friday's event, the honorary doctors were recognized for their efforts, which in various ways have had a major impact on Karolinska Institutet's research and education. In 2020, Pascale Cossart, Sven Hagströmer, and Thomas Sakmar were awarded honorary doctors of medicine. To the sound of the salute shot from the town hall, they received their doctoral insignia; the hat, doctoral diploma, and ring.

Robert Harris, academic vice-president for postgraduate studies, gave a speech to the new doctors of medicine. Photo: Ulf Sirborn

A total of 184 new doctors of medicine, who received their PhDs in the autumn of 2019 and spring 2020, received their hats. Robert Harris, Professor at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience and academic vice-president for postgraduate studies, gave a speech to the new doctors of medicine:

"This is a new chapter in your lives and gives time for reflection. The last two years have been particularly tough for researchers, but remember that all challenges shapes you. If research had been easy, everyone would be doing it."

The evening ended with a banquet in the Golden Hall. Photo: Anna Svensson

After the ceremony, the doctors and other guests gathered for a banquet in the Golden Hall that offered a three-course menu, speeches, and entertainment. Frideborg Bradley at the Department of Medicine, Solna, spoke on behalf of the new doctors on the Friday:

"When we started our postgraduate studies, there was no COVID-19, and suddenly everyone was talking about medical science. The most important thing we have learned during our education is critical thinking. I would like to thank all the professors for helping us along the way and to KI who have given us this opportunity."

During the ceremony, the organ was played by Mattias Wennberg, trumpets by Martin Thorell and Carl Jonsson, and also pieces from the Swedish musical "As it is in heaven", with vocals by Philip Jalmelid accompanied by Erik Brag Månson on piano, and "Tannhäuser" with vocals by Maja Frydén and Mattias Böhm on piano. During the evening, dancers from Base23 also performed.

Conferment Ceremony 12 November 2021 Photo: Ulf Sirborn
Conferment Ceremony 12 November 2021 Photo: Ulf Sirborn
Conferment Ceremony 12 November 2021 Photo: Ulf Sirborn