A record number of new PhDs

The number of PhDs at the University of Bergen reached another high in the spring of 2012 with 144 new doctorates. Each faculty will also get an honorary doctorate.

144 nye doktorer ble kreert i løpet av vårsemesteret. Det er ny rekord for...
144 nye doktorer ble kreert i løpet av vårsemesteret. Det er ny rekord for Universitetet i Bergen. Disse representerer Det matematisk-naturvitenskapelige fakultet.
Thor Brødreskift

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In a ceremony in Håkonshallen on Friday 31 August, the new doctorates from the spring semester of 2012 at the University of Bergen (UiB) will be honoured. Never before have so many PhD degrees been completed in one semester. Out of a total of 144 new doctorates, there were 68 men and 76 women.

– I’m obviously very happy with these numbers. The PhD programme is a key element of the activities at a research university such as UiB. The fact that the PhD numbers are still on the increase shows that our PhD programmes work well, says Rector Sigmund Grønmo.

Towards year end best results

The rector is also very pleased that UiB is well on track to beat last year’s record number of doctorates – 254 for all of 2011.

– Our progress continues and we are now reaping the rewards from our long-term and priority of quality in all disciplines. The new doctors represent extremely high and diverse skills for both the university and society at large, he says.

International relations

As in previous years, the number of international doctoral candidates is on the increase. In the spring of 2011 there were 41 international PhDs at UiB, this spring the numbers are up to 51. With the overall increase in PhDs at UiB, the number of international doctorates thus is stable.

– This indicates that the university’s research environment has a strong and international focus and is a result of our heavy investment in developing international relations, Grønmo says.

Honorary award

Whilst a doctoral degree is the highest academic degree that can be achieved, then an honorary doctorate degree (doctor honoris causa) is the highest honour a university can award to a person.

Those appointed have distinguished themselves through significant academic research or outstanding work benefitting science.

This year UiB appoints a total of seven honorary doctorates, one proposal each from UiB’s six faculties and one from the University Museum of Bergen.

– Many of those appointed have worked closely with research groups at UiB and have contributed greatly to research at the university, Grønmo says.

Valuable contributions

According to rector Grønmo, the honorary doctors often develop a special relationship with UiB both regarding academic work and as ambassadors for the university.

– When the university appoints an honorary doctor, this recognises past endeavours for science in general or for the university in particular. But it is also a basis for enhancing further contact with this person. Having outstanding people as honorary doctors is also an honour for the university.


The seven new honorary doctors of the University of Bergen 2012


Karl Halvor Teigen (born in 1941) is Professor Emeritus at the University of Oslo, and is probably one of the most important Norwegian psychologists of our age. He has made substantial contributions to many areas of psychology, particularly within the fields of decision-making and intuitive judgement, where he enjoys wide international recognition. Teigen has also been a key researcher in the history of psychology, and has published several books and a number of journal articles in this area. Not least, his widely-used ‘En psykologihistorie’ is familiar to many thousands of psychology students in Norway and the Nordic region.

Teigen has published a number of academic articles and books on more general psychological subjects and the history of psychology. He has also made considerable contributions to the field concerned with cognitive misjudgement, where he has been fascinated by people’s conceptions of good luck and bad luck, and with situations that can lead to the two different conceptions. In 2011 he was awarded the Ig-Nobel prize for his studies of the everyday phenomenon of sighing.Teigen is also a poet. He received the Tarjei Vesaas Prize for debuting writers in 1970.

Karl Halvor Teigen has been Professor at the University of Tromsø and the University of Oslo. He has been closely associated with the University of Bergen for practically his entire academic career, undertaking various roles such as Associate Professor, Professor and Adjunct Professor, and he has been a programme examiner for the last ten years. He has been a member of several assessment committees and has supervised many PhD candidates for their doctorates.


Henning Dralle (born in 1950) is Professor at Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. He is one of the top endocrine surgeons in the world. His qualities as a clinician and researcher have made him an outstanding academic surgeon, and his scientific works range from practical surgery and clinic to molecular biological translational research. He has an immense, high-quality scientific output. He is actively involved in knowledge exchange and is in great demand as a speaker. Henning Dralle is a global resource in the subject of endocrine surgery. He also has a special relationship with, and is highly significant for this subject at the University of Bergen.

In broad terms, the main area of Dralle’s scientific contributions is clinical surgery research. More specifically, he has focused on problems related to endocrine surgery. In this context, endocrine surgery means tumours and illnesses in endocrine glands such as the thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands and neuroendocrine tumours in the pancreas, stomach and intestines. Dralle studies clinical problems in the fields of diagnostics and treatment, and has organised collaborative efforts, achieving results that are now commonly used in surgery.

Under Professor Dralle’s leadership, the University Clinic in Halle has built up a reputation that has provided it with an unusually large patient base with which to study tumours in endocrine glands. His research projects include problems as far-ranging as the molecular biological analysis of tumour tissues and normal tissues, clinical genetics, diagnostics, treatment strategies and the effects of treatment.


Jon Hellesnes (born in 1939) is Professor Emeritus at the University of Tromsø. He is one of Norway ́s leading philosophers in the national and international arenas, an essayist and an active participant in public debate. He is one of the most prominent communicators of his subject and its research. Hellesnes has had close academic ties with the University of Bergen throughout his career.

As a philosophy student and Research Assistant at the University of Bergen in the 1960s, Jon Hellesnes entered an academic environment with international contacts in English, German and French linguistic philosophy. He quickly took an independent approach, combining analytical and continental philosophy. Hellesnes argued convincingly that self-insight was imparted through the Other’s Look, and thereby that intersubjectivity in practice and linguistic actions is a fundamental phenomenon.

As well as an outstanding philosopher, Jon Hellesnes is also one of our most well-known essayists and participants in public debate. However, Hellesnes the debater is first and foremost a philosopher. He has helped to bring philosophy into our intellectual daily life.

Hellesnes enjoys discussing fundamental philosophical problems from the perspective of the experiences of everyday life, through a distinctive and surprising use of original examples and thought experiments. This is what makes Hellesnes such a brilliant communicator, yet he never compromises on academic challenges. That is why he is read with interest, his work benefiting not only academic philosophers but also a wider audience.


Shelly Lundberg (born in 1955) is Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. She is a prominent specialist in labour economics, and is one of the world’s best-known researchers into family economics and the economic analysis of gender differences in the labour market. Her research comprises both theoretical and empirical work. Key subjects have been analyses of discrimination and inequality, and resource allocation and decision-making in families. She has also studied the relationship between child gender and parental behaviour. In addition, she works with demographic problems and has recently been researching the relationship between personality and marital decisions, and intergenerational relationships.

Shelly Lundberg is associated with the University of Bergen as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Economics. She has previously been associated with a number of American universities in various roles such as Professor, Visiting Professor and Director of various academic units, including Princeton University, Stanford University and the University of Washington.

Lundberg holds a number of national and international appointments, being the Associate Director of the Broom Center for Demography, editor of various academic journals and a member of the editorial board of the American Economic Review. She is also President of the Society of Labor Economists for 2012-2013.


Anne E. Magurran (born in 1955) is Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. She has excelled as an important contributor to the subject area of biological diversity, and has been the author of several important, pioneering books that have been instrumental in helping us understand biological diversity and apply this knowledge to the conservation of biological resources.

Professor Magurran did her PhD at the University of Ulster and has held post-doctorate positions at the Universities of Bangor and Oxford. She has also had several research projects at the Royal Society in London. In 1987 she wrote the book ‘Ecological Diversity and Its Measurement’. This was extremely well received and has been used for teaching all over the world. Demand from the international academic community resulted in the publication of a new edition of this book in 2010, the University of Bergen being one of its scientific contributors.

Although diversity is one of ecology’s central subjects, there is still a great deal of controversy as to how it actually should or could be measured. Professor Magurran’s contribution to this subject has been important and pioneering. She has built up an international reputation and is a highly sought-after collaborative partner and speaker, committed to public engagement and knowledge exchange. She has also organised several international conferences and seminars at venues such as the Royal Society and the Kavli Foundation.

Now that we are in the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, with its objective of reducing biodiversity loss, Magurran’s research is becoming relevant even outside academic circles.


Cindy Lee van Dover (born in 1954) is the Director of Duke University Marine Laboratory and Professor of Biological Oceanography at Duke University. She is an important pioneer in deep-sea research, and has increased our understanding of the deep ocean’s complex marine ecosystems. Her research has concentrated on the ecology and chemical composition of the ocean’s ecosystems.

She has published more than 100 scientific articles in internationally acclaimed journals. She is also the author of a number of popular scientific articles and books, including ‘The Octopus’s Garden’ (1996) and ‘The Ecology of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents’ (2000).

Cindy Lee van Dover took her doctorate in biological oceanography at MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in 1989. She was the first woman to qualify as an underwater pilot on the submersible research vessel ALVIN, and has piloted dives down to 2,000 metres.

She is particularly interested in the geographic distribution of biological systems and diversity. In recent years she has become increasingly involved with the issue of protecting the world’s oceans. She has received research funds from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Cindy Lee van Dover is associated with the University of Bergen through her place on the Advisory Board for the Centre for Geobiology, a Norwegian Centre of Excellence.


Maarit Jänterä-Jareborg (born in 1954) is Professor of Law at Uppsala University. She is a prominent figure in her subject in Europe, having focused her research primarily on family law, inheritance law and international civil law. Jänterä-Jareborg is a highly productive academic, and has been a member of assessment committees at the University of Bergen’s Faculty of Law on many occasions.

Jänterä-Jareborg has also had a number of prestigious appointments, having already received honorary doctorates from the University of Helsinki and the University of Oslo. She has also received distinctions such as the K.G. Idman Foundation’s Award for the best Nordic publication in international law, the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala’s Thuréus Award, and Uppsala University’s Rudbeck Medal for her extraordinary contribution to science.

Jänterä-Jareborg is an extremely busy national and international guest speaker. She has also contributed her academic expertise internally and externally, as a Dean, a member of Sweden’s Recruitment Board of Judges, Expert in the Swedish Ministry of Justice, and Government Appointed Expert on a number of Swedish committees. She also has extensive experience as the Swedish delegate at the Hague Conference on Private International Law, as the Chair of the International Panel for the Evaluation of Legal Studies at Helsinki University and a member of a range of steering groups and committees.