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New honorary doctors in science at Lund University

Portrait. Photo.
Stanley Micklavzina.

Lund University in Sweden has two new honorary doctors in science. One is an entertaining and creative circus artist in the subject of physics. The other is a chemistry professor who is passionate about providing students with an early link to qualified research.

The Faculty of Science at Lund University has now announced its honorary doctors for 2019.

One is Stanley Micklavzina, a physicist at the University of Oregon. Stanley Micklavzina has a great interest in developing new creative ways of teaching physics, both to the general public and within physics degree programmes. He combines physics with the circus and theatre, and has developed an extensive repertoire of exciting ways to demonstrate physics in public contexts. He has also been very active within the American Association of Physics Teachers, and has been awarded several prizes for his popular science work.

Stanley Micklavzina has collaborated with Lund University for a long time. Among other things, he helped to develop the exhibition "Shoot protons and tickle electrons", which provides a background to the opportunities offered by the research facilities ESS and MAX IV, with many newly developed experiments. The exhibition is on at the University’s Vattenhallen Science Centre. Micklavzina has also developed the physics show “Quantum Show” at Vattenhallen Science Centre.

Last spring he was invited to speak at a conference for Swedish teachers, organised by the National Resource Centre for Physics Education at Lund University. In connection with the conference, he also met a group of upper secondary pupils from Polhem School in Lund to show them experiments linked to MAX IV, among other things. This resulted in the upper secondary school pupils developing their own science show of which they performed extracts during the Lund Culture Night event at MAX IV and with which they will now tour other schools in the region.

During several previous visits to MAX IV, Stanley Micklavzina shared his knowledge of science demonstrations and created material currently used at MAX IV. In his spare time, he plays in a rock band and dreams of writing a textbook about physics and rock ’n’ roll.

Portrait. Photo.
Karin Åkerfeldt

The other honorary doctor who has now been announced is Karin Åkerfeldt. She is a professor of chemistry at Haverford College. The college is nationally recognised for its tradition of giving students early contact with research. Karin Åkerfeldt has worked for a long time with both research and teaching in chemistry at Haverford College, and in recent years, chemistry has become one of the college’s most popular subjects.

Her teaching is based on curiosity-driven laboratory experiments and lectures, and highlights what links the subject of chemistry to environmental issues and materials science, among other things. Åkerfeldt was part of the national American committee which, ten years ago, produced new guidelines on how to develop teaching in chemistry precisely in this direction.

For many years, Karin Åkerfeldt has collaborated closely with researchers at the Department of Chemistry at Lund University. The research in question has studied how different structures in molecules correlate with function, for example in proteins. Areas of application for the research include biomedicine and the utilisation of solar energy.

Not least, the collaboration with Lund revolves around Karin Åkerfeldt’s contributions to creating research opportunities for students. Since 2010, through scholarships, a number of students from the USA have been given the opportunity to take part in research work at the Department of Chemistry in Lund during their summer break. This enables students to participate in internationally outstanding research while getting a chance to contribute to the publication of scientific studies.