The Swedish Research Council announced yesterday that a grant application to recruit the 2004 Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek to the Physics Department at Stockholm University was approved. This is extremely exciting news – also for the Oskar Klein Centre.
Frank Wilczek is one of the founders of the theory of strong interaction of particles and has proposed the existence of the axion, among the main particle candidates to explain the cosmic dark matter, and related physics of the early Universe. He is also an expert on physics tested with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Furthermore, he has made groundbreaking contributions to the theory of black holes. Clearly, Frank’s presence would contribute significantly to propel the Oskar Klein Centre to a world rank research environment.
Warm congratulations to Frank and every physicist in the Stockholm area. This could be the beginning of a new era for fundamental physics in Sweden, reminiscent of the golden days when Oskar Klein was a professor in town!
The members of the Oskar Klein Centre had just noticed with satisfaction that we could keep the VR Linnaeus grant at the same level (increased by 10% in 2010) the second half of the grant period (until 2018), when even more exciting news reached us. First, our valued member of the International Advisory Board, Katie Freese from Michigan University, was announced as the new Director of Nordita, which is located in the neighbouring building to OKC.
Welcome to Stockholm, Katie!
The next positive surprise came yesterday, when the Swedish Research Council, VR, announced that Katie will receive a big excellence grant for astroparticle physics, namely 101 million Swedish Crowns (around 15 million US dollars) over 10 years. This grant was suggested to the VR by the Vice-Chancellor of Stockholm University, Astrid Söderbergh-Widding (see her blog about it).
The future of astroparticle physics in Sweden looks brighter than ever, I am sure that Katie will find the environment here excellent (as she has seen in her work in the OKC IAB), and now she can contribute to it in a substantial way. These are exciting times for all of us!
Hello everybody in the OKC!
Welcome back after a well-deserved vacation for most of you. For OKC this is a rather hectic period, as we have our mid-term evaluation requested from Vetenskaprådet (VR) just starting. The International Advisory Board (Katie Freese, Bengt Gustafsson, Wolfgang Hillebrandt, Hugh Montgomery, John Peacock and Larus Thorlacius) will visit us August 29 – 30, and you have been informed by Serena about some of the events taking place.
The review process will take place during the autumn, with a face-to-face meeting during a site visit January 30, 2014. The IAB has promised to act as a “mock panel”, so that we get feedback before submitting our self-evaluation with deadline September 1. When the verdict of the review comes, sometime during spring, we will know whether our Linnaeus Centre OKC gets increased funding (by up to 20 %), decreased funding (by up to the same amount), or a constant budget. It is a zero-sum game between the 20 Linnaeus Centre that received grants in 2008, so if we win some others have to lose, and vice versa. Quite exciting, in other words! Continue reading A new interesting period for the OKC→