Last week I delivered the introductory remarks at the second Brain and Culture Symposium organized by Ingemar Ernberg, Gunnar Bjursell och Fredrik Ullén. Giving introductory remarks is a big honour that I take very seriously and see as an opportunity to reflect about a particular field. I always aim to stay for at least one lecture, in that way I get a nice overview of all the fantastic activities that go on within our university day after day, week after week and year after year.
In honour of Professor George Klein
This year’s symposium was organized in honour of professor George Klein whose interests extended far beyond his professional field – into arts, music and literature. When different disciplines and perspectives meet added value can be created, which is particularly important to consider for a single faculty university like ours: Studies on how cultural activities and performances may affect the human brain is a new research area relevant for understanding the brain, for understanding society and for treating diseases.
My understanding is that with the developments in the last years it is now possible to make evidence-based statements like: dance slows the progression of Parkinsons disease or listening to music enhances recovery after a stroke; very promising results particularly as the side effects are in general positive. With other words; to be part of this new research field and these promising developments, we have initiated a network for studies of culture and the brain and have the ambition to develop this into a new research center.
Celebrating European Research Council, ERC, 10 years
Later the same afternoon the Swedish Research Council was celebrating the ERC 10th anniversary with a symposium hosting, among other, the ERC president Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President of the ERC.
The ERC has really positioned itself as a uniquely important research founding body at the European arena with its sole focus on the highest research quality! It seems that this strategy is no longer questioned which holds good promise for the future!