Traditional ceremony for the new doctorates

69 new doctorates were honoured in the University Aula on 26 August 2016.

Photo from Doctorate promotion ceremony, April 2016.
DOCTORATE PROMOTION: 69 new doctorates were honoured in the University Aula on 26 August 2016 at a doctoral promotion ceremony. This picture is from the ceremony in April 2016.
Thor Brødreskift/University of Bergen

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69 new doctorates are conferred by the University Board for the spring semester from 18 April throughout June 2016. These are invited to receive their doctoral diplomas under the doctoral promotion in the University Aula on 26 August.

In the spring semester 121 doctorates were conferred in total. This year the university holds three doctoral promotion ceremonies, instead of the two held annually in the past. There are now two ceremonies in the spring and one in the autumn.

University Director Kjell Bernstrøm lead the ceremony, while Rector Dag Rune Olsen held a speech.

“It is a great privilege for me, as the rector of the university, to welcome you all to this ceremony in the University Aula where we will celebrate our university’s new doctors. And I do speak on behalf of the entire academic community, when I say that we are honoured and proud that so many of you have chosen the University of Bergen for your doctoral studies,” said Rector Olsen.

A clear message from the rector

The rector is proud to host this doctoral promotion in the University Aula, which is located in the University Museum of Bergen. The building is a construction project which the founder of the museum characterized as “an educational project”.

To the recently conferred PhDs, Rector Olsen had a clear message.

“In 1869, Harvard President Charles W. Eliot noted that “…to make a good engineer, chemist, or architect, the only sure way is to make first, or at least simultaneously, an observant, reflecting, and sensible man, whose mind is not only well stored, but well trained also to see, compare, reason, and decide.” While we now would of course add women to his description, we must continue to embrace his goal. We must challenge ourselves to ensure that our education - our PhD training included - indeed make us prepared to “see, to compare, to reason, and to decide,” said the rector.

Speaking on behalf of the PhDs

Nora Sørensen Vaage held a speech on behalf of the new doctor graduates. She is a researcher at UiB's Centre for the Study of the Sciences and Humanities (SVT), where she also was a fellow in connection with the PhD project. She already has a bachelor in aesthetics (2008) and master's degree in art history (2011).

Presently she works part-time as a coordinator of responsible research and innovation at the Centre for Digital Life Norway, a national network project for cooperation between different biotechnology sectors. Sørensen Vaage, in other words, is a multidisciplinary researcher.

“We made it. We have come through long year's of research, whether in the laboratory, in the field, or in an archive. As conferred PhDs we are now finally the finished graduate product,” said Sørensen Vaage.

She talked about her years as a PhD as a sometimes stressful time.

“Working towards your PhD can often be demanding, with high performance demands and at times high stress levels. However, it is perhaps the time in our research career where we have the greatest opportunity to really immerse ourselves in the subject. A senior colleague of mine has repeatedly claimed, in festive settings, that he still relies on the reading he did during his own doctoral work. That is probably a partial truth, but it says something about the big world of research, that many of us have really begun to get a taste of,” said Sørensen Vaage.