Hans Rosling


Doctor, scientist and educator.

The first four years Hans Rosling lived in the district of Luthagen and then moved the family to the Svartbäcken district in Uppsala. After graduation, Rosling studied statistics and medicine at Uppsala University. The interest in public health science led, during a trip in Asia 1972, to a course in social medicine at St. Johns Medical College in Bangalore, India.

After a medical degree in 1975 and work as an AT-doctor in Hudiksvall, he trained further and acquired competence in the centre of Medicine at Uppsala University in 1977.

During the years 1979-1981 the spouses worked in Nacala Porto in northern Mozambique, where Hans was a district doctor and his wife, Agneta was midwife. In the Nacala district, an epidemic erupted in 1981, of a previously unknown spasmodic paralysis, with over 1 500 victims, whereof most women and children. The paralysis was linked to a highly poor and highly one-sided diet consisting of a toxic form of manioc (cassava).

Rosling described the disease in his doctoral thesis and named it Konzo. This means "bound bones" in the Congolese language where the disease was once described in 1938. During the 1980s, there were several outbreaks of Konzo in other African countries.

During the years 1983-1996, Rosling worked as a teacher and researcher at Uppsala University in collaboration with several universities in Africa and Asia. He was appointed in 1997 Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.

in 1999 Rosling began lecturing with a new kind of animated bubble chart that showed the World's Socio-economic state and development over time. The program was called Trendalyzer and had been developed by his son and son's wife, with whom he co-founded the Gapminder Foundation.

The lectures made complicated statistics about the World's development comprehensible to the general public, decision makers and opinion-formers. The lectures spread through web and TV worldwide, and governments and organizations hired him as a lecturer and advisor.

Rosling devoted his professional life to global health, Global health problems, and how these are related to poverty. With the conviction that reason and knowledge improves the world and that we can eradicate extreme poverty and reduce CO2 emissions, Rosling pointed out that it is the richest billion of the earth's population that first and foremost must reduce CO2 emissions because they account for half of them.

Hans Rosling's memoirs How I Learned to understand the world, written together with the journalist Fanny Härgestam, was published posthumously in 2017 and Factfulness, written in collaboration with Ola and Anna Rosling Rönnlund, released in 2018.


Burial site: 0116-0836B

Image description: Hans Rosling, press Photo. Photo: Stefan Nilsson / Gapminder.org. [The image is cropped]
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Pontus Wikner


Philosopher, writer.

Pontus Wikner was born in a poor homestead in Valbo-Ryrs parish in Dalsland.

He came to Uppsala in 1856 and took a lasting impression of the neo-evanglism and of Rydberg and Geijer.

As a disciple of philosopher Christopher Jacob Boström, Wikner developed at first Boström's ideas, to later expose them to religious philosophical and epistemological criticism. Against the philosophy of Boström, which was derived from God as the absolute sense, Wikner's conception a God as marked by sacred will and religion as a me-you relationship.

Between 1863–1884, Wikner was Associate Professor in theoretical philosophy in Uppsala and became lecturer in theology and Hebrew at higher general grammar school in Uppsala 1873, and professor of philosophy and aesthetics in Kristiania (Oslo) in 1884.

In the most read work thoughts and questions before the Son of man (1872) Wikner took personal position in the Christologian battles of the present time. He wanted to reconcile a biblically inspired revival of piety with a culture of open humanism and was beheld in Christian circles, mainly within the young ecclesiastical and the Covenant of Christian Humanism.

When Pontus Wikner died in Oslo after a life of sickness and personal crises, his remains was brought to Uppsala through the student union. A large number of students followed the remains to the grave.

More than 80 years (1971) after Wikner's death, his notes were published, in which he describes his homosexual orientation and the suffering it caused him.

Wikner also became an inspiration when the modern gay movement emerged in Sweden in the 1970s; a movement that has evolved and today can be referred to as the LGBTQI movement.


Burial site: 0121-1085

Image description: Pontus Wikner , ca 1850-1888. Photo: Unknown photographer / UUB. [The image is cropped]
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Otto von Friesen


Language researcher, runologist.

Otto von Friesen was born in Kulltorps Parish, Jönköping County and his most important scientific work deals with the runic script.

1897 became von Friesen docent at the Nordic languages at Uppsala University.

He published about the descent of the Runic script (1906) and the Smoke Stone (1920) in which he claimed that the enigmatic stone is about a conflict between Östgötar and Frisian merchants.

During the years 1905–1936 was von Friesen professor of Swedish language, became a member of the Academy of Sciences in 1928 and elected to the Swedish Academy in 1929.


Burial site: 0106-0332

Image description: Otto von Friesen, Uppsala 1940's. Photo: Gunnar Sundgren / UUB. [The image is cropped]
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Karin Westman Berg


Literature scholar.

After the master's degree, Karin Westman Berg worked as a grammar school teacher in Luleå and Härnösand from 1943 to 1957.

She received her Ph.D. in Uppsala in 1962 with studies in C.J.L. Almqvist's view on women and edited several anthologies, such as Text analysis from a gender perspective (1976) and Don't cry – research (1979).

Westman Berg was a leading figure in Swedish feminist literary research and was a member of the Fredrika Bremer Association Board from 1945 to 1977.

Westman Berg initiated and led gender roles seminars at the course activities from 1967 to 1977. At that time, women's research seminars were started, which Westman Berg led up to 1979. The seminars became an inspiring meeting place for people interested in women's issues and women's research.

A research post on women's and gender issues gave her the opportunity to start the Women literature project at the Department of Literature in Uppsala in 1978. With women's literature, it referred at the time to fiction which was written by Swedish women authors.

At the retirement in 1982, Karin Westman Berg was awarded the name of professor.


Burial site: 0319-1349

Image description: Karin Westman Berg, unknown year. Photo: Inger Harnesk / Centre for Gender Studies, Uppsala University. [The image is cropped]
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Gunilla Bergsten


Literary scholar.

Gunilla Bergsten was an associate professor in literary studies and mainly devoted to German literature, both in academic and popular science circles.

In 1963 she defended her thesis, Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus , who attracted a great deal of international attention. It came to mean a lot to Thomas Mann research, because it skilfully sorted out the structure of Mann's novel design while presenting a comprehensive, previously unknown source material.

Gunilla was also theater critic for many years in the paper Upsala Nya Tidning.


Burial site: 0325-3169

Image description: Gunilla Bergsten, unknown year. Photo: From private collection. [The image is cropped]
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Greta Arwidsson



Greta Arwidsson was born in Uppsala in 1906 and was the daughter of Ivar and Anna, both of whom were academics.

During the 1930s, after studying at Uppsala University, Arwidsson participated together with Professor Sune Lindqvist of the Båtgravsfältet at Vals field, which is located 7 km north of Uppsala next to Fyris creek and is a large burial ground that was used during Iron age. In 1942 she defended her thesis on the findings of the Vals field, which focused on the animal ornamentation of the Vendel period.

She was an associate professor at Uppsala University and later National antiquarian on Gotland and member of Swedish Academy. On Gotland, Arwidsson carried out several important studies. Arwidsson also participated in investigations of Birka and thus contributed to the Birka research, among other things as editor and author for research publications.

In 1956 Arwidsson was appointed professor of archaeology. In addition, she became internationally recognized for her efforts in archaeology. In her name "Greta Arwidsson Friends" was funded, an association for women working in the student nations in Uppsala.

From Greta Arwidsson Book from 1942 concerning the findings in Vals field. The picture shows a helmet found in one of the tombs. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In 1944, Greta Arwidsson and Gunnar Ekholm examined from Uppsala University six graves on the ridge in Gamla Uppsala. Greta Arwidsson stands by the camera. Photo: Nils Johansson (presumed) / Upplandsmuseet.

Burial site: 0217-1257

Image description: Greta Arwidsson at the Museum of Nordic Antiquities, Gustavianum, Uppsala unknown year. Gunnar Sundgren / Upplandsmuseet. [The image is cropped]
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Svante Arrhenius


Physicist, chemist.

Svante Arrhenius was born at Wiks Castle outside Uppsala where his father was a trustee.

He was one of the foremost natural scientists of his time and received the first Swedish Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1903 for his efforts regarding the electrolytic Dissociation theory from 1887. It changed all the chemists perceptions of acids, bases and salts.

From the mid-1890s, Arrhenius's interest was extended to geophysics and cosmic physics. He regarded himself as a physicist, but his main findings mainly concerned chemistry.

From 1905, Arrhenius was the director of the Nobel Institute for Physical Chemistry (Academy) in the same year.

Also as a popular science writer, Arrhenius was internationally known among other things through the release of the development of the Worlds (1906), Man in the face of the World Riddle (1907), Smallpox and their suppression (1930), The Fates of the Stars (1915) and The chemistry and Modern Life (1919).


Burial site: 0152-0062

Image description: Svante Arrhenius, unknown year. Photo: Unknown photographer / Technical museum. [The image is cropped]
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Karl Gustaf Lennander


Doctor, surgeon.

Karl Gustaf Lennander became a student in Uppsala in 1875 and later associate professor and professor of surgery and obstetrics in 1891.

With him, the modern abdominal surgery began in Sweden and in 1889 the first operation at peritonitis (peritoneal inflammation) outcome from the Appendix (worm appendage) was performed. The results Lennander presented in 1902 when he also advocated early surgery at appendicitis (appendicitis). Lennander published several studies in surgery and gynecology.

Lennander became a member of the Society of Science in Uppsala in 1893, the Society of Science and Literature in Gothenburg in 1902 and the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1905. Lennander's large fortune was bequeathed to a scholarship fund at Uppsala University and to the Swedish Medical Society.

A course in surgery, autumn term 1890. Professor Karl Gustaf Lennander (sitting closest to the operating table) with the students Lindblad, Segerstedt, Floderus, Strandman, Kaijser, Olsson, Wennerström, Didriksson, Bodinsson, Nilsson. Photo: Uppsala University Library.

Doctors at the University Hospital in 1889. Around the portraits are photographs of the Fyris creek, the University Hospital, the harbour with the pump house and the Department of Anatomy, Uppsala University, the stairwell in university building, the Botanical garden, view towards the University Hospital and the castle and the cathedral, Flustret. Photo: Heinrich Osti / Uppsala University Library.

Burial site: 0134-2133

Image description: Karl Gustaf Lennander, Uppsala ca 1880-ca 1890. Photo Heinrich Osti / UUB. [The image is cropped]
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Anders Jonas Ångström



Anders Jonas Ångström is best known as one of the founders of the optical spectroscopy.

Ångström was the first to observe the spectrum of hydrogen, an observation that formed the basis of the Balmers formula and thus constituted the experimental basis for Bohr's atomic theory.

Ångström studied the solar spectrum in depth, especially the lines of Frauhofer. The Recherches sur le spectre sunaire Study (1868) contained a precise determination of the wavelengths of the lines of Fraunhofer. In addition, Ångström made regular observations in several locations to provide a basis for the complete production of magnetic conditions in Sweden.

Ångström was also the first to investigate the northern lights spectroscopally. The unit for light wavelength, corresponding to 0.1 nanometers, was adopted as an international unit and was named Angstrom.

Anders Ångström was Professor of physics in 1858 – 1874 and was elected to the Academy of Sciences in 1850.

1996 the Ångström laboratory was inaugurated at Polacksbacken, where a number of science disciplines related to physics and chemistry have been given their research centres.


Burial site: 0113-0666

Image description: Professor A.J. Ångström, 1862. Photo: Mathias Hansen / UUB.  [The image is cropped]
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Elias Fries


Botanist, mycologist.

Elias Fries came from Femsjö in Småland and was the son of the Parson Thore Fries and Sara Elisabeth Wernelin. He became one of leading figures of mycology, who produced writings that still play a scientific role.

Originally, Fries studied at Lund University and he became associate professor of botany at the age of 20.

He later moved to Uppsala University and was in 1851 Professor of practical economics and botany. He was also the prefect of the Botanical Garden and the museum there.

Fries was especially focused on the study of fungi, but his research touched on all the fields of botany. His most influential work was Systema Mycologicum, which was Fries's systematic work regarding fungi. Other mycological works were Elenchusfungorum and Hymenomycetes Europaei.

Fries propagated to use fungi as food, by the work of plates Sweden's edible and poisonous mushrooms. The interest in mycology was transferred to several of the children. For example, the son and daughter, Elias Petrus and Susanna (Sanna) Christina, draw several plates with mushrooms which several are preserved in Uppsala.

Fries also published the popular scientific papers Botanical Flyers (1-3, 1843 – 1864).

In addition to rector of the university, Elias Fries was a member of the Swedish Academy.

Title sheet from Elias Fries "Sweden's edible and poisonous mushrooms", Norstedt & Sons, Stockholm, 1860. Photo: Bukowskis Auktioner AB.

Spread by Elias Fries "Sweden's edible and poisonous mushrooms", Norstedt & Sons, Stockholm, 1860. Photo: Bukowskis Auktioner AB.

Burial site: 0103-0185

Image description: Elias Fries, Uppsala 1860's. Photo: UUB. [The image is cropped]
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