Uppsala University: Chair and director appointed for Alva Myrdal Centre for Nuclear Disarmament


Uppsala University has appointed Cecilia Wikström to chair the governing board of the University’s new knowledge centre for nuclear disarmament and Professor Erik Melander to be the centre’s director. Following these appointments, the Alva Myrdal Centre can start its activities.

In December, the Swedish government gave Uppsala University a mandate to establish a national knowledge centre for research on nuclear disarmament. The centre’s board and director are now ready to begin building up this new research environment. The Alva Myrdal Centre will seek new knowledge on nuclear disarmament in a broad sense of the term, drawing on research from diverse academic disciplines. The ultimate goal is to help make the world safer.

Cecilia Wikström, who is Director of the Kjell and Märta Beijer Foundation (the Beijer Foundation), will chair the centre’s governing board. After serving as a Member of the Riksdag for two terms, Wikström represented the Liberal Party in the European Parliament from 2009 until 2019. During this time, she held several positions relating to human rights and freedoms and to foreign and security policy. She also chaired the Conference of Committee Chairs, exercising ultimate responsibility for the coordination of legislative work in the European Parliament. Wikström is ordained in the Church of Sweden and has served as a priest in Uppsala Cathedral and elsewhere. She is a former member of the Board of Uppsala University.

“Knowledge about nuclear disarmament is increasingly important at a time of growing international tensions. In Sweden and at Uppsala University, we are well placed to contribute through high quality research and relevant knowledge about current developments, anchored in international networks of institutions and universities,” says Cecilia Wikström.

“I hope to be able as chair to help make the Alva Myrdal Centre a hub in a strong network of actors, both nationally and internationally. In this new role, I look forward to helping to create conditions for strong research in an important sector with great social relevance.”

Erik Melander is a professor at the Department for Peace and Conflict Research, to which the Alva Myrdal Centre will belong.

“I am gratified that the Centre will have such a knowledgeable and broadly based governing board. We will now activate a number of internationally diverse research groups to study the prerequisites, implementation and consequences of nuclear disarmament,” says Melander.

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