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“Pupils should learn more about what we don’t know than what we do know”

Honestly, what is needed at KI is to make education more prestigious, and I don’t say this only to you, it’s a message I report to everybody.” Ole Petter Ottersen, the new Vice-Chancellor of KI, feels very strongly about education.

His own path to science started with a biology book he read as a kid.

This book was brilliant because it also told us what was not known. This is something that we all tend to forget in school. Pupils should learn more about what we don’t know than what we do know because that kindles the curiosity and the fascination with science.”

Ole finds Niels Bohr one of the most inspiring figures in science, even finding inspiration in the art to solve his particle-wave duality problem, and combining science with politics. “So I guess that has also paved a way for my interests, not only to do science, but also to look at the political implications of science.”

So far, one thing has really surprised Ole during his time in Stockholm.

 There is no barrier between the city and the sea. Stockholm is not only a world-leading academic center but also the best jogging city in the world.


This is a piece for the Humans of KI series published in the third issue of Medicor.

Follow the rest of the series from here.

Head over to vice-chancellor’s blog or read his interview in Times Higher Education “Universities must train a new breed of leaders“

Interview: Yildiz Kelahmetoglu
Text: Ayla De Paepe
Photo: Matthijs Dorst
Published in Medicor 2017#3

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