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Dean's bulletin, 6 September 2021

Dear all,

Welcome back!

After a hot and hopefully calm and reinvigorating summer for you all, I am glad to welcome you back to the Faculty of Science at Lund University.

This time it is for real. We will be returning to our workplace, even though it will be a little different than before the pandemic. There are clear guidelines for the return to the physical workplace: it will begin on 16 September and is to be completed by 1 November. If special reasons apply, the completion date may be deferred to 15 January. I look forward to meeting you face-to-face in forthcoming meetings.

It feels great and a little challenging at the same time. We have to make a lot of things work in a new and different way, but if we have learned anything in the 2020s, it is how to adapt in a strange and changing world. The pandemic has had awful consequences for many of us who have lost people we care about. However, it has also shown us what fantastic tools science has placed in our hands. The development of an effective vaccine has been achieved in record time. It is thanks to the efficient and professional vaccine roll-out in the spring and summer that we are now able to return to the workplace. It is fantastic and a major victory for the science-based society of which we are an especially important component.

The percentage of people in Skåne with a single vaccination is almost 80 per cent and the percentage of fully-vaccinated people is nearing 70 per cent at the time of writing. This applies to all those who are 16 or older. This is an important underlying condition for us to be able to return and meet in a responsible way and through education and research contribute to the formation of knowledge, which is our principal protection when facing difficult challenges. My hope is that a high level of willingness to vaccinate and a low rate of infection will allow us to keep to the plan for a return to the workplace.

We have not got through this yet, but perhaps we have moved from the end of the beginning to the beginning of the end of the pandemic, and that feels hopeful. To all of you who have made it possible to maintain research and education under new and difficult conditions, I can only express my sincere and heartfelt thanks! It makes me feel proud to be part of this organisation.

Welcome back!

Sven Lidin, dean