Celebrating new PhDs, August 2015
To solve the complex problems of the world today, researchers must be able to communicate across different fields. This was the message when the PhD promotion took place in the University hall in August 2015.
During spring semester 2015, 141 people was awarded a doctorate at the University of Bergen (UiB). On Friday 28 August, this was celebrated with the traditional PhD promotion.
”This is a historical day. First and foremost for all of you, but also for the University of Bergen. This marks the first time we can celebrate the traditional PhD promotion in this magnificent hall,” said rector Dag Rune Olsen.
The new University hall opens officially on 2 September. The hall is located in the south wing of the University Museum, in the heart of campus.
Exchange and cooperation
Rector talked about the diplomas that were given to the new PhDs.
”This symbolises that you have taken the foremost education that a university can offer, and it represents what science deep down is all about. It symbolises that you have done a formidable work that has taken a large effort and commitment. And it symbolises the end of a long journey that you can be immensely proud of having completed,” the rector said.
Around a third of the new doctorates were international. Rector addressed them specifically, and added that knowledge does not know any geographical boundaries.
“Only through professional exchange and cooperation can we hope to solve the great challenges in the world,” he said.
Mathew Alexander Stiller-Reeve, originally from Devon in the United Kingdom, spoke on behalf of the new PhDs.
“I have gained the understanding that the communication of our research is an unbelievably important part of the whole research process. As the problems in our world become increasingly complex, so does the need for research to cross disciplines,” he said.
He also challenged the university to develop and offer communication training to all of the university.
“Learning the basics does not need to take a huge amount of time. But these skills are essential to the future of research, more now than ever before. The better our students are at communication, the better our research will be,” he said.
Opportunities in Bergen
Stiller-Reeve also spoke of the opportunities given to a PhD candidate at UiB: opportunities to travel, and to expand ones horizons.
“Doing a PhD in Norway and at the University of Bergen has been a huge opportunity for all of us. It is an opportunity to be treated like a human being and get a fair salary for the amount of work we are expected to do. It is an opportunity to do a PhD and be treated like a colleague rather than an assistant. We are not personal assistants to our supervisors, but collaborators. We work on research together!"