Stockholm university

Honorary doctorates

The awarding of an honorary doctorate is an expression of the University's appreciation of outstanding contributions in one or more of the University's areas of academic activity.

A collage of the six Honorary doctorates awarded 2024
Honorary doctorates at Stockholm University 2024: Katja Franko, Magnus Florin, Camille Parmesan, Matthias Tschöp, Zhaojun Bai, Phoebe Okowa. Photo: Maud Hol, Fredrik Hjerling/Albert Bonniers Förlag, Lloyd Russell, Matthias Tunger, Nikita Mistry and Josh Moy/UC Davis, Onur Pinar


An honorary doctorate is an expression of the University’s appreciation of outstanding contributions in one or more of the University’s areas of academic activity. The awarded honorary doctor should be affiliated with Stockholm University or have contributed to the University’s activities in some way.

The Deputy Vice President appoints the honorary doctors for the academic area after proposals from and discussions within the faculties.


Honorary doctorates 2024


Magnus Florin

Magnus Florin Foto: Fredrik Hjerling, Albert Bonniers förlag
Magnus Florin. Photo: Fredrik Hjerling, Albert Bonniers Förlag

Magnus Florin is a writer of novels and essays, as well as a critic. He has a deep and long-standing engagement with theatre and opera, and has written libretti for several contemporary composers. He has also headed the theatre department of Swedish Radio, and served as chief dramaturg of the Royal Dramatic Theatre. His novels on historical figures like Linnaeus and Descartes, while reminiscent of dreamplays, are characterized by a concreteness and a linguistic precision unusual in Swedish literature. Several of his novels have been translated into different languages, and his work has been awarded a number of prestigious prizes. Florin has often collaborated with scholars in such venues as the Dialogue Seminar and the journal Dialoger. His work has often focused on August Strindberg’s authorship. Among his Strindberg publications, the much lauded essay Lykttändaren (”The Lamplighter”, 2021), is the most important. The essay has a special relevance given that Stockholm University has a central role in Strindberg research.


Phoebe Okowa

Phoebe Okowa Foto: Onur Pinar
Phoebe Okowa. Photo: Onur Pinar

Phoebe Okowa is Professor of Public International at Queen Mary, University of London and a member of the United Nations International Law Commission and Chair of its drafting committee. A Kenyan lawyer, she was educated at the Universities of Nairobi and Oxford where she obtained the degrees of LLB (1987) BCL (1990) and D.Phil. (1994) respectively. She has written extensively in the broad field of Public International law including on questions of state responsibility, accountability for international crimes, and environmental justice. In addition to her academic work, she has advised Governments on questions of international law and appeared as counsel in several cases before the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. A long-standing member of the Stockholm Centre for International Law and Justice, she has collaborated with the Department of Law on several projects.

Social Sciences

Katja Franko

Katja Franko
Katja Franko. Photo: Maud Hol

Katja Franko is professor of criminology at University of Oslo. Her work is both empirically groundbreaking and theoretically important, addressing issues of migration, border control, surveillance and international policing in a globalised world. In light of political changes in the Nordic region, professor Franko’s research has become increasingly relevant. Franko works at the University of Oslo and has published several influential books as well as articles in top criminological scientific journals. Katja Franko is not afraid to tackle complex topics, which contributes to a deeper understanding of central criminological issues. Her texts have influenced criminological research at Stockholm University, and she has had an impact on the entire field of criminology. Her commitment to exploring and questioning contemporary criminological topics is also an inspiration for the next generation of researchers.


Zhaojun Bai

Zhajoun Bai
Zhaojun Bai. Photo: Nikita Mistry and Josh Moy UC Davis

Zhaojun Bai is professor jointly at the Departments of Computer Science and Mathematics, University of California, Davis, USA, and a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr Bai’s main research interests include linear algebra algorithm design and analysis, mathematical software engineering and applications in computational science and engineering. He is a co-Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software and fellow of SIAM. Dr Bai is well-known for his synergistic projects, such as LAPACK, a standard software library for numerical linear algebra. He has been a generous guest professor at the Department of Mathematics during 2019-21. He taught classes on campus and via zoom during the pandemic and held presentations and organized workshops. In particular, he contributed to establishing scientific computing at the department.

Camille Parmesan
Camille Parmesan. Photo: Lloyd Russell

Camille Parmesan

Camille Parmesan is a professor at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). She is a highly respected evolutionary ecologist and a pioneer in research on how biodiversity is affected by global climate change. One of her early research papers was one of the first examples to document a biological range shift due to climate change. Since then, many highly ranked studies and well-deserved awards have followed her career. She has been strongly involved in the work within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Camille Parmesan has also made important contributions to the Bolin Center at Stockholm University. She is widely recognized for her excellent outreach, for communicating her passion for biodiversity and the threats to our nature and to our society due to the ongoing climate change.

Matthias Tschöp

Matthias Tschöp
Matthias Tschöp. Photo: Matthias Tunger

Matthias Tschöp is Alexander von Humboldt professor at the Technical University Munich; he is also CEO of Helmholtz Munich and Vice President of the Helmholtz Association in Germany. He is an internationally renowned obesity and diabetes researcher. He identified the gastric peptide ghrelin as being the human hunger hormone. On his quest to find efficient medicines for the treatment of obesity, he co-discovered gut-hormone co-agonists. Some of these agents offer for the first time safe body weight loss in humans. His research has thus opened a concrete path towards overcoming the global obesity pandemic and may prevent a majority of future type 2 diabetes cases. He continuously shares his expertise with researchers of Stockholm University. This collaboration was instrumental in establishing the sophisticated metabolic equipment that makes Stockholm University’s metabolism research infrastructure unique and internationally competitive.

Conferment ceremony on 27 September 2024

The honorary doctorates are conferred at the coming Inauguration and Conferment Ceremony in Stockholm City Hall, Friday 27 September at 17.00.

Inauguration of New Professors and Conferment of Doctoral Degrees


Who can be appointed honorary doctor?

The proposed person should be affiliated with the University as an honorary doctorate is an expression of the appreciation of outstanding contributions in one of the university's academic areas. Honorary doctorates may not be awarded in return for financial contributions, gifts and the like.

A person who has already been awarded a PhD in Sweden within a certain academic area may not be awarded an honorary doctorate in the same area. It is, however, quite possible to appoint a doctor of philosophy, for example, to an honorary doctor of Laws and vice versa. It is not usual that someone be appointed an honorary doctorate at the same university that he or she graduated from.There is no requirement that an honorary doctor has obtained an academic degree.

In the case of foreign nationals with a foreign degree, there is no obstacle to awarding an honorary doctorate in the same area as the foreign degree.

The proposed person should not be an honorary doctor in the same field at another university or higher education institution in Sweden. However, a person may, for example, be an honorary doctor of philosophy at one university and honorary doctor of medicine at another.

An honorary doctorate cannot be awarded posthumously.


Honorary doctors, previous years

The first honorary doctors were appointed at Stockholm University, then Stockholm University College, in 1909. All honorary doctors from this year onwards will be compiled and published on this web page.

Here is a list of Stockholm University's honorary doctors from 1994 onwards (published on the Swedish website).

Honorary doctorates at Stockholm University 1994-2023




Ingrid Harris, Master of Ceremonies
Phone: +46-8-164908

Visiting Address:
Spökslottet, Drottninggatan 116

Postal address:
Stockholm University
Office of the President
SE-106 91 Stockholm

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