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Time to nominate honorary doctors

Big black hats and diplomas.
Doctor's hats, rings and diplomas looking for new honoraray doctors. (Photo: Studio Slakthuset)
Published Feb 01, 2022

Anders Forsgren, Dean of Faculty and Chair of the Faculty Council. It is now time to submit names for prospective honorary doctorates. Why should we do this?

All employees can nominate individuals. What should they take into consideration?

“Honorary doctors are often, but not always individuals who have a prominent position in science, and that have been of importance for KTH. They should have clear associations with KTH and in the last few years, individuals that have come under consideration, have often been from the international research arena. For example, one can well imagine that such individuals would be associated with the areas of sustainable development, digitalisation, internationalisation, and gender equality, i.e. the KTH pillars, or that are very much in the news. But this is absolutely not a requirement.”

How many names are usually nominated?

“This tends to be in the tens, but naturally, the more the merrier for us. We also like to see a good balance between men and women.”

Portait of Anders Forsgren.
Anders Forsgren, Dean of Faculty.

If you look back over the years since 1944, 241 individuals have been awarded honorary doctorates, of which 31 were female and the rest male. What can that tell us?

“This is a big distortion, but we can see that this has been shrinking over time. This not only reflects societal change and a change in the way technology is viewed, but also the active work being done on gender equality at KTH. If you look at the period up to and including 2001, four women and 159 men had been awarded honorary doctorates. Over the past 20 years, honorary doctorates have been conferred on twice as many men as women, and over the past 10 years, 50 percent more men than women have been so honoured. . Let us make a concrete contribution in this case by nominating both female and male candidates, and to broaden our minds when thinking about which candidates can be considered.”

Honorary doctorates appear to be a mixed bunch. They range from kings and bank directors to Nobel Prize winners and other eminent researchers. In what ways do these honorary doctorates benefit KTH?

“By conferring these doctorates, KTH signals what is valuable and important for us. They can concern research areas and initiatives that can be of particular interest for KTH at this time.”

The deadline for nomination submissions is 31 March. The criteria that apply to be considered for an honorary doctorate and directions can be read at honorary doctorates at KTH .

Words: Jill Klackenberg

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Last changed: Feb 01, 2022