Gustaf Svanberg was born in Botilsäter in Värmland and graduated from Uppsala in 1819. He first studied classical languages, but switched to mathematics and astronomy and was professor of astronomy from 1842 to 1875.
Between 1833-1835, Svanberg studied terrestrial magnetism in Germany. As a member of parliament, Svanberg succeeded in obtaining funding for a modern observatory in Uppsala, which was built in the area between Rackarbacken and the old fjärdingstullen, the area now known as Observatorieparken.
The observatory c. 1860 and the avenue.
Photo: Artist Eric Österlund (1812-1907) / UUB.
The Observatory block before 1890, view from the north.
Photo: Henri Osti / UUB.
The observatory was completed and inaugurated in 1853 and received its first main instrument, a 24 cm refractor from Steinheil in Munich. It was replaced in 1893 by the double refractor (36/33 cm) which is still in the main dome of the observatory.
Gustaf Svanberg organized regular meteorological observations from 1865. The Meteorology Department moved to the Ångström Laboratory in 2000, but the "Old Observatory" as it is called, is still used by amateur astronomers and for public tours.
Adolf Noreen was born in Östra Ämtervik in Värmland and wrote a thesis on the Frykdal dialect. The thesis deals with the dialect of his home town and was the first dialect description based on scientific principles.
Noreen published language history manuals, for example about Fornisländska in Altisländische Grammar (1884) and about Ancient Swedish in Altschwedische Grammar (1904).
In his great work Vårt språk (Our language)(1903–1924) he presents his ethos of language and presents a basic plan for grammar. Noreen was also an advocate for the spelling reform in 1906.
Between 1887 and 1919, Adolf Noreen was professor of Nordic languages, was elected a member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities in 1902, as a member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1917 and became a member of the Swedish Academy in 1919.
Together with Johan August Lundell he founded the school Upsala Enskilda Läroverk (now Lundellska) in 1892.
Christopher Jacob Boström was born in Piteå and became a student in Uppsala in 1815.
From 1842 to 1863 he was professor of practical philosophy in Uppsala and was Sweden's most influential philosopher during the 19th century. He constructed a metaphysical system with roots in German and Swedish idealism. Boström was a convincing lecturer and excelled in speeches.
Boström's so-called rational idealism with its strong emphasis on the individual's duties in a moral and rational society came to exert a profound influence on mindsets in Sweden in the late half of the 19th century.
Boströmianism, named after its author, was the only original philosophical system that arose in Sweden in the 19th century and came through Boström's disciples to dominate Swedish university philosophy throughout the late 19th century.
His disciples included Sigurd Ribbing, Yngve Sahlin and Axel Nyblaeus. Boström's niece is Ebba Boström, founder of the Samaritans home. She is also buried in the Old Cemetery.
Frithiof Holmgren established Sweden's first physiological laboratory in 1862 and became the country's first professor of physiology at the age of 33. He was also a most prominent teacher at Uppsala University.
As a scientist, he became internationally known with the discovery of the retinal current in the eye.
The studies of color blindness made Holmgren internationally famous and in 1874 he described his method of using different colored "sefir yarn dolls", the so-called wool yarn sample, to demonstrate color blindness.
The method was of great practical importance for people in signalling services, such as railway personnel and seafarers. A train accident in Lagerlunda in 1875 was suspected of a train driver not being able to distinguish between red and green. No one had thought that the colour vision could have an impact on railway staff.
The equipment used by Holmgren in the discovery of the retina lattural stream, i.e. the retina's electrical response to light impressions. The equipment consists of a mirror galvanometer and a light catcher with a clockwork that drives the mirror. Photo: Museum of Medicine in Uppsala.
Sefirgarn dolls for carrying out the test of colour vision developed by Holmgren and which became mandatory for all those who would be employed in rail and sea traffic. Photo: Museum of Medicine in Uppsala.
A more macabre study that Holmgren undertook focused on whether beheading was a painless method of execution. Holmgren was therefore present at four beheadings to investigate the method from a physiological point of view.
According to Holmgren, the case studies showed that beheading as a method met the requirements for a painless way of execution.
Holmgren also participated in the debates in Verdandi, and his radical stance appeared in his dictation to the protocol of the consistorio:
"I consider the freedom of thought as one of man's most precious privileges, and the university where the tenet of thought is not primarily, does not, in my view, fulfil its task. To educate the studying youth to thinking men, should, according to my understanding, be one of the university's main tasks.".
Frithiof Holmgren also emphasized the importance of physical education and formed the Students' Sharp Shooting Association, the Students' Gymnastics Association and was chairman of the folk dance association Philochoros and promoter in Uppsala swimming society.
Anders Gustaf Ekeberg was the son of the ship builder Joseph Eric Ekeberg and Hedvig Ulrica Kilberg.
In 1784 Ekeberg was enrolled at Uppsala University, where he was taught by Carl Peter Thunberg. After graduation and study trips, Ekeberg became associate Professor in chemistry in 1794.
In 1799 Ekeberg was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In 1802 he discovered the element tantalum (Ta).
An explosion accident in the beginning of the 1800's led to Ekeberg becoming blind in one eye.
One of the scientific discoveries that Ekeberg made was a method for producing a strong, clear and translucent porcelain. The secret behind the method, he took with him to the grave.
The friends carved his name on a stone pillar in the cemetery wall and three words in Latin: Chemico (he was a chemist) Amicitia (friendship) Memor (memory) and the death year with Roman letters MDCCCXIII. Photo: Henrik Zetterberg.
The picture shows the Ekeberg Prize awarded by the Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center. Photo: TIC.
In recognition of Ekeberg's pioneering work, the TIC (Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center) institued an award in 2017 to promote knowledge and understanding of tantal. The award was called the Anders Gustaf Ekeberg tantalum Prize ("Ekeberg prize") in his memory.
Image description: Portrait of Anders Gustaf Ekeberg from Mellin, Gustaf Henrik (eds) 427 porträtter af namnkunniga svenske män och fruntimmer, Stockholm, 1847. Photo: LIBRIS-ID: 1579474. [The image is cropped] Click here for an uncropped image
Fredrik Tamm was born in Tveta in Södermanland and defended 1875 with a treatise on Swedish etymology, which is the doctrine of Proverbs ' historical origins and elaborated Etymological Swedish dictionary through the letter K.
Tamm devoted himself especially to etymological works and Swedish dictionary theory. For many years, Tamm stood in for the ailing professor of Swedish, Frits Läffler. From 1883-1898, Tamm was acting professor of Swedish for a total of ten years.
Uppsala University attempted to establish a professorship for Tamm, but it was not granted by the Royal Council. Maj:t, probably because at the time there was already a professor of Nordic languages and one of Swedish language. 1897 Tamm instead received the name, honour and dignity of professor.
Shortly afterwards, Tamm's wife passed away and he was diagnosed with facial cancer. The operation he underwent left him with a severe speech impediment.
On his birthday, March 30, 1905 he died and Nathan Söderblom held the eulogy in which was said:
"No one could be a better listener than he, this whether it was funny stories or scientific lectures, the latter, which he to the end, faithfully visited, whereever they were offered".
Herman Baumbach was born near Grästorp and is commonly referred to as the most famous perpetual student. He came to Uppsala in 1876 and completed his Bachelors at 61 years of age after 84 terms of studies. He belonged to the Västgöta nation from 1876 until his death in 1931.
Pencil drawing of Herman Baumbach, drawn by Carl Lindorm Möllersvärd. Photo: UUB.
Booklet with 20 drawings made by the artist Lindorm Möllerswärd. The motifs are famous profiles in Uppsala, including Herman Baumbach. Photo: Anja Szyszkiewicz / Upplandsmuseet.
Baumbach focused his studies on Latin, German and English and he achieved high grades. With a bowler hat, big overcoat and screaky galoshes, Baumbach became a sight in the city.
Fredric Mallet began studying at Uppsala University in 1745 with astronomy and mathematics as main subjects.
In 1754, Mallet started a training trip in Europe, a trip that lasted 28 months. After his return, he was appointed an observer at the Uppsala Observatory on Svartbäcksgatan, a service that he held for 16 years.
By the end of the 1700s, the Celsius observatory had decayed, but the building still remains in central Uppsala. The location in the middle of the city did not make it very suitable for observations. The instruments trembled when horse carriages pulled out on Svartbäcksgatan and the view was obscured by chimney smoke.
Astronomical Observatory, Uppsala. Engraver Fredrik Akrel. Illustration from Busser, Johan B., draft beskrifning on Upsala, Part 2, Uppsala 1769, pp. 112. The house was finished 1741. Photo: UUB.
The same building in 2019, which houses a goldsmith and various university departments. Photo: Henrik Zetterberg.
In 1769, Mallet was commissioned by the Academy of Sciences to study Venus from Pello in the Torne Valley. When Venus passes over the solar disc, was in the past important from a scientific point of view. By studying Venus from several different places on Earth, the researchers managed to determine the distance between the Earth and the sun.
In 1773 Fredric Mallet was appointed Professor of mathematics, a service he held until 1794.
Murray began studying at Uppsala University in 1764. Initially he devoted himself to botany, but was increasingly interested in anatomy and dissections.
His anatomy studies led in 1771 up to a dissertation he defended under Linnaeus' leadership. In 1772 Murray graduated as a medical doctor in Uppsala. After his dissertation, Murray began a training trip in Europe and was in 1774 appointed professor of anatomy at Uppsala University.
He returned to Uppsala in 1776 and entered his office. In 1778 Murray became Uppsala's first professor of surgery. In his scientific work, he published a number of dissertations, as well as many other writings.
A significant contribution in Swedish is the Dissertation on the progress of anatomy in more recent times, which formed his voluminous bureau speech in the academy of Sciences in 1794 when he became its chairman.
Page from lecture notes. Murray is the author. Photo: UUB.
Murray's amputation tools for soft parts and for cutting bones. The picture also shows a dissertation by Murray from 1798. Photo: Urban Josefsson, Medical History Museum.
At the Medical History Museum in Uppsala there is a unique collection of surgical and gynecological instruments collected by Adolph Murray. Letters between Murray and Linnaeus are preserved at Uppsala University.
Margit Sahlin was one of Sweden's first three female priests and ordained in 1960 when the Swedish church, through a Council decision, let women become priests. A new law was made in 1958 and came into force in 1959.
Prior to that she had acquired a broad academic background and a doctorate in Romance languages about the Church dance and the Folk dance song, La Carole médiévale et ses rapports avec l´Église (the medieval dance and its contact with the church). Already in 1940, she is interdisciplinary in her dissertation.
Sahlin took the initiative to the formation of Katharina foundation and was its director for a total of 34 years. The foundation is described as a meeting place for dialogue between church and society.
Sahlin was secretary of the Swedish Church's central Council in 1945-1970 and was appointed honorary Doctorate of Theology in Uppsala in 1978.
In the 1970s she was also vicar of the Engelbrekt parish in Stockholm. She performed a pioneering work through the formation of the Diocese Women's council around the country and its umbrella organization ecclesiastical Women's Council (today women in the Swedish church). In 1995 she received the Equality Prize from the Minister for Equality Marita Ulvskog.
Among the several books Margit Sahlin has written are Evangelisation (1947), Man and Woman in the Church of Christ (1950), The Service of the Word in a Changed World (1959), Time for Rethinking (1980), With Peter (1982), Hurdan is God (1985), The Secretive Book. Reading the Bible Today (1994) and Jesus. The Secret of God (1999).
The Margit Sahlin Academy was established in 2015 and is the platform for exchange of views between science, society, culture, and Church in Margit Sahlin's spirit.