UiO celebrates with honorary PhDs

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The University of Oslo (UiO) has awarded 17 honorary doctorate degrees as part of its 200th anniversary celebrations, which are being held all year long but climaxed late last week and over the weekend.

The red carpets were rolled out for special bicentennial ceremonies at the University of Oslo on Friday and during the weekend. On Thursday, the university conferred 17 honorary doctorates. PHOTO: Views and News

“Honorary doctorates expand the university, they strengthen the University of Oslo’s place in the international, academic community,” Dean Ole Petter Ottersen told newspaper Aftenposten over the weekend. That’s when the university held an “open house” in many of its most historic buildings including its Aula auditorium, decorated with art by Edvard Munch.

The honorary doctorates also firm up ties to other universities, noted Ottersen, who hosted the formal and ceremonial awarding of the doctorates with an academic procession in robes.

Among those awarded with honorary degrees was Fred Kavli, the Norwegian physicist who emigrated to the US, earned a fortune in business and became a California-based philanthropist who, among other things, funded the prestigious Kavli Awards that are announced in Oslo. Kavli also has donated large funds to Norwegian research in recent years.

“We’re very grateful for his support and happy to have him among our honorary doctors,” Ottersen told Aftenposten. “The university competes in a global market of knowledge where private sources are important to create fertile grounds for the highest levels of research. Quality research at a high level costs money, lots of money.” Other honorary doctors are controversial and spark debate because of their views. Ottersen thinks that’s also important.

The 17 honorary doctorates were conferred last week to:

Professor Christoph Markschies, Humboldt University, Germany

Professor Lars Björne, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland

Professor Boel Flodgren, Lund University, Sweden

Professor Eugene Braunwald, Harvard Medical School, USA

Professor Jean Claude Mbanya, University of Yaoundé, Cameroon

Professor Donna Haraway, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA

Professor Quentin Skinner, University of London, England

Physicist and businessman Fred Kavli, The Kavli Foundation, USA

Professor Richard Dawkins, University of Oxford, England

Professor Jacob Martien ten Cate, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Professor David Orlinsky, University of Chicago, USA

Professor Debraj Ray, New York University, USA

Professor Anne Edwards, University of Oxford, England

Professor Kristian Kristiansen, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Dr. Vandana Shiva, Institute of Science og Institute of Management, Bangalore, India

Professor Linda Alcoff, Hunter College of The City University of New York, USA

Professor Ada Yonath, Department of Structural Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel