Dan Larhammar and Ulf Danielsson to be royally rewarded


King Carl XVI Gustaf has decided to award Dan Larhammar, Professor of Molecular Cell Biology, and Ulf Danielsson, Professor of Theoretical Physics, H.M. The King’s Medal.

Dan Larhammar and Ulf Danielsson
Dan Larhammar is a Professor at the Department of Medical Cell Biology and Ulf Danielsson is a Professor at Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Photograph: Mikael Wallerstedt and David Naylor

H.M. The King’s Medal (formerly known as the Court Medal), created in 1813, is presented to individuals who have distinguished themselves through special merits, or by meritorious service in the Royal Court of Sweden.

Professor Larhammar is to receive one of Sweden’s top civilian honours, H.M. The King’s Medal, made of gold, “of the 12th size with the ribbon of the Order of the Seraphim” – the largest and highest-ranking medal in its category. He deserves it, as the citation goes, “for meritorious contributions within Swedish academia,” as a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 2007 and its President since 2018.

“It came as a complete surprise, and it’s a great honour to get the King’s Medal. I assume that it’s mainly for my inputs as President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for almost four years. Many of us are working to make the Academy better known as the fantastic resource we are, with world-leading expertise in many different areas. Recently, we’ve have had an expert group that has come up with several reports on COVID-19. As for myself, I took the initiative for non-specialist, informative articles about vaccines and climate change that, we hope, will be widely disseminated,” Larhammar says.

“Great and surprising honour”

Professor Ulf Danielsson is to receive the Medal “of the 8th size with the ribbon of the Order of the Seraphim” for his “outstanding contributions, as a theoretical physicist, to popular education.”

“In purely general terms, it’s truly gratifying to see that the choice has been made to honour contributions of this kind with this distinction. And for me personally, it’s not just a great and surprising honour, but also highly inspiring to get such appreciation,” Danielsson says.

He often participates in contexts where the aim is to communicate and popularise science, and has written several scientific books.

Like Dan Larhammar, Ulf Danielsson is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He is also a member of another Swedish royal academy, the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences of Uppsala.

Later this year, the two professors will receive their awards at special presentation ceremonies.

Åsa Malmberg