Jenny Beckman: "Tarzan of the Sciences: The Royal Swedish Academy in the Information Jungle, c. 1970"

  • Datum: –15.00
  • Plats: Engelska parken 6-3025 (Rausingrummet)
  • Arrangör: Institutionen för idé- och lärdomshistoria
  • Kontaktperson: Julia Nordblad
  • Seminarium

Högre seminariet i idé- och lärdomshistoria

Forskningspresentation av Jenny Beckman, Uppsala universitet.


In this paper, I will discuss how the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences attempted to transform itself from an unofficial government agency into what might be called a scientific lobby organization in the years around 1970. On an organizational level, this transformation manifested in the establishment of new positions at the Academy: an international secretary was hired in 1970 and an information secretary in 1973, both soon followed by their own departments and staff. On a more existential level, it involved redefining its role in Swedish scientific research and administration, in relation to other institutions and to its own past.

In its search for a new role, the Academy reorganized its communication with the public, with government agencies, and with other scientific organizations. It intensified its output of press releases, conference proceedings, and newsletters; it formalized its work with government referrals and opinion pieces; it endeavoured to join and establish international organizations and collaborative networks. The Academy’s ability to speak about science, for science, and not least, for scientific institutions, changed forms.

Illustration från Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan the Untamed (1920). Konstnär James Allen St. John. Bildkälla: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).