With a lot of work ahead of us to restore KI confidence, including many activities that need to be initiated and successfully concluded, I am very happy to from Monday March 7th have an acting pro-vice chancellor in place to complement the KI management team. As announced, on Monday 29 February the KI board appointed professor Henrik Grönberg as KI acting pro-vice-chancellor. Henrik will strengthen the academic leadership at KI and I am very much looking forward to working with him. Henrik and I knew each other from the time we were both heads of departments – Henrik at the department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics, MEB, and myself at the department of biosciences and nutrition, BioNut. I know Henrik as an appreciated academic leader and a highly respected researcher and I am convinced these are characteristics that will be very important in his role as acting pro-vice-chancellor. Henrik will play a central role in activities that are at the heart of restoring KI confidence. Henrik and I will next week communicate the activities which will constitute Henrik’s specific responsibilities.
Yesterday I returned from a few days off skiing with my family in the Swedish mountains. This gave me some time to reflect over the past few weeks which have been a big, sudden and unexpected change not only to my professional life, but also to the more private life of me and my family. However, I feel determined and enthusiastic to lead KI forward with energy, an open attitude, transparency and not least important, a positive attitude. KI is a fantastic university and we should all be proud of being part of it!
When I returned I had a very important meeting with the KI Ethics Council. Together with university director Per Bengtsson, I had summoned the council for an open discussion regarding the council’s role. The meeting was held in a very positive atmosphere. Karolinska Institutet is a university where ethical issues are of central importance and recent events have accentuated the importance of KI’s work with ethical questions and fundamental values. The meeting resulted in a general agreement that there is a need to clarify and revitalise the work regarding research ethics at KI and that the council’s role should be reviewed and perhaps extended in this context. As soon as the future tasks for the council have been decided it will be necessary to review the competences that will be needed for the council’s future work. In association with appointing a new council, the present council members will be asked whether they are potentially available to serve in a future organization for ethical questions at KI.