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Head of Department Letter March 2024

Dear colleagues,
Two weeks ago, when it briefly felt like spring was coming, I went for a walk in the Science Village area between MAXIV and ESS. On the walk were the management teams of both LTH and the Faculty of Science, as well as Ola Wendt, head of the Department of Chemistry. There were many conversations about the size of the buildings, about people and things moving between different activities, and about our many collaborations.

In terms of the number of employees, the Department of Physics is already one of the largest departments at Lund University. But actually we are much bigger than that, we are bigger than the university. We have research and teaching collaborations with others. Locally, nationally and internationally. Our researchers and students travel to other universities and research environments, and we receive exchange students and guest researchers here at the department.

It is a great asset, and crucial for our business, that these collaborations and exchanges work well. That it remains easy to work and study with us.Both for those of us who are travelling abroad and for those who come here to us.Unfortunately, this important aspect sometimes seems to be forgotten in the ongoing discussions about security and systems at Lund University.  It is important that we are clear about our needs.So that these collaborations with others, with external parties, which are crucial to our activities, are not made more difficult than necessary.At the same time, we must contribute to the development of our common security.Of course this is the case.

We must insist, but also demonstrate, that the largely open and collaborative world of research and teaching is still the most viable option. So even in these times when Lund University's management and administration are justifiably concerned about security, both for IT security and the risks of information leakage. 

What is it in your daily life that needs to be reviewed? Security is also about how you store your data and how you share it with others. And how you use your office computer or mobile phone when travelling. If you are supervising doctoral students or have invited visiting researchers to your organisation, do you provide them with assistance in accessing local university and departmental services, as well as information on what is appropriate and what is not? This may seem like unnecessary work, but it is important. In the department, we have access to some specialised equipment and solutions that no one centrally has an overview of. In the end, only those of us who work at the physical department really know what is done and needed here. So please help us by making sure that what we do is done in a sensible and safe way.

The walk at Science Village in the fine weather resulted in more questions about the relocation process that now need to be clarified. But in any case, it feels promising for our external collaborations that there is a new large conference facility at Science Village that is already accepting bookings. It is also positive that LINXS is on its way to the area. Let's take advantage of the new cooperation opportunities that are emerging!

Else Lytken

Head of Department