Lena Roos is also interested, sort of, in natural resources, but from an entirely different perspective and on a smaller scale – that of religion. She returned to Södertörn University last September, after previously working here and helping initiate research and education in the Study of Religions. Lena Roos was also honoured at the Commencement Ceremony in February.
– The fascinating thing about religions is that they encompass all of existence. From ideas about power beyond the observable, to the most everyday things such as what we eat, how we dress, what we do in the morning and before we sleep at night, she says.
But what does the study of religions have to do with natural resources? This somewhat tenuous connection comes from a personal interest and recent developments in the subject.
– The Study of Religions is now more interested in people’s religious practices, in lived religion, how religion shapes daily life. I’ve previously written about religion and food, religion and sexuality. And now gardening. Besides, I’m also a fanatical allotment gardener, so it combines two major interests, she says.
Gaining experience along the way
This group of new professors also includes Stina Bengtsson, who is now professor of media and communication studies. A couple of lessons that she wants to share with doctoral students are:
“Retaining your autonomy is the most important apect for being able to remain, and thrive, in academia. Academic work is driven by curiosity and desire, and can only be good as long as it’s enjoyable".
“Academic work is increasingly controlled, which is good in some ways. However, the foundation of what we do deals with developing and trusting your own judgement, and if work in academia is to continue to be meaningful we must protect the role of our own judgement in our work. And protect academic freedom.”
Katarina Wadstein Macleod, professor of art history, believes that her most important duty as a professor, apart from her own research, is leading other people’s research by building networks, research environments and working to create doctoral studentships and postdoc positions. She also mentions taking responsibility for the discipline’s visibility in various third stream activities, as well as working to link education and research.
Katarina Elofsson, professor of economics, succinctly summarises the duties of a researcher in one sentence: Searching for knowledge, explaining it and discussing it.
We also congratulate Rickard Lalander and Håkan Nilsson, professors in environmental science and art history.