The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Head of Department Letter May 2024

A recurring item on the agenda during my first months as Head of the Department of Physics has been and remains the issue of decision-making. At head of department meetings, leadership training, department and divisional management meetings, it is always there.
- Don't be afraid to make decisions, they can change, is a recurring advice.
And yes, it is true. New decisions can be made and sometimes they are absolutely necessary. Sometimes, time and developments have outpaced a previously made decision, so that it is no longer relevant or, in the worst case, hinders the further development of our activities. 

Other times, we decide, only to realize later that it was the wrong way to go. Some decisions can be likened to a test with a built-in probationary period. But every decision involves an investment and a commitment from the organisation, sometimes a big commitment. So when a decision is changed, or if there is only a small opening to change it, it often, and quite naturally, gives rise to frustration and confusion.

One decision we have talked a lot about in April is the move to the Science Village. Formally, it is not our decision, but our views carry a lot of weight and always have done. The Stage 2 project team is taking its task very seriously and is also studying other cost options. Options that are particularly relevant in times like these, when we pay special attention to aspects such as sustainability and economy. The Physics Department's decision to move its activities to Science Village remains and the project group continues its work on developing a premises programme for SV. It will return according to previously established planning. 

A few weeks ago, project manager Knut Deppert presented an update on the Science Village at Mötesplats Rydberg. Since then, the mention of alternative future locations for the Department of Physics has given rise to much discussion and many people have also contacted me. It is an issue that concerns us all, as it should. Because this decision is likely to have a major impact on the career prospects of our slightly younger colleagues in particular. 

In the department's latest vision, adopted by the Board in May 2020, it is stated that we want to create ‘A Science and Technology Centre for Physics and Chemistry... The centre will provide excellent undergraduate and postgraduate education and excellent research in physics and chemistry... At the same time, the whole of SV is being developed into an attractive university environment, where the physics and chemistry departments are joined by other university activities and companies. Our vision is that the area between MAX IV and ESS will become one of northern Europe's hottest teaching and research nodes.’ 

The vision also addresses starting points such as ‘SV should have a full-scale student environment’ and ‘rental support for newly built premises, so that the economy does not hinder the establishment’ and how ‘A successful establishment will attract additional businesses to establish themselves: more university departments, technology companies, support functions’ and of course ‘... premises adapted for modern teaching ... lab environments for highly specialised research... meeting places ... a unique opportunity to build a research environment that is closely linked to NanoLab Science Village, a co-located Lund laser centre, MAX IV and ESS’.

These visions are based on the dreams and discussions of many, and by all means hold on to them! But now that we will soon have to move on to the practical phase, consider also whether they, or a subset of them, can be realised in different ways. And if so, what is most important? 

I have asked Daniel Kåreda to be a dedicated voice for Fysicum in the co-operation with the project group and with phase 1 (NanoLab Science Village). We are currently in the process of understanding how best to reach out with more information to all staff in the department about the project group's thoughts and work, while also allowing all staff to express their views. Until the forms for this forum are finalised, you are still welcome to contact me, Daniel or the project group (Knut Deppert and Per Eng-Johnson from physics) with your questions and comments about the Science Village project.

Else Lytken

Head of Department

The Department of Physics' vision for a Science and Technology Centre for Physics and Chemistry at Lund University in Science Village 2020-05-12. (the document is available in Swedish only on the department's intranet).

Ongoing information about the Science Village establishment can be found on the Science Village blog.