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PhD Day 2016 sets science free

This year's PhD Day at Aarhus University, Health will provoke scientific dogmas under the title "Set Science Free". Though as always, it will also be one big networking event for PhD students and their supervisors.

Conventional scientific thinking will be challenged when the PhD Day 2016 takes place on Friday 22 January at Aarhus University, Health under the theme of "Set Science Free".

The event brings together hundreds of PhD students and supervisors from the health sciences along with international guests in one big networking event at the Lakeside Lecture Theatres at Aarhus University, followed by a party and an academic award ceremony.

This year's keynote speaker is the British scientist and thinker Rupert Sheldrake, a man who is not least known for his innovative thought on science. His speech will – as he himself puts it – " turn the fundamental dogmas of science into questions, opening up startling new possibilities”. 

Shaking-up thinking and ideas

The programme's discussions and panel debates will therefore ask what drives research and makes researchers think in new ways - and what makes them turn thinking on its head:

"In other words, we have invited Rupert Sheldrake in the hope that he will provoke our thoughts and ideas and help to shed light on the challenges and opportunities behind good research," say Professor Ebba Nexø and PhD student Christoffer Tobias Witt from the event’s Organising Committee. 

"We hope that all the PhD students, supervisors and anyone else who turns up on the day will subsequently return to their studies with lots of ideas about how to free their own research – though, of course, within the limits and rules that you have to accept", they add. 

Researcher battle and awards

As usual, this year's PhD Day also includes the awarding of The Fogh-Nielsen Legacy and the DKK 125,000 that follows. The three scholarships go to three young researchers following a researcher battle, which is sure to be one of the day's main attractions. The JCD Prize – “the good PhD Supervisor” - of DKK 25,000 will also be awarded. The award is named after Professor Jens Christian Djurhuus from Aarhus University.

The scholarships and awards will be presented at the evening festivities and dinner.

  • See the programme for the day here 



  • Rupert Sheldrake graduated from Cambridge and Harvard universities and has a PhD in biochemistry from Cambridge University. He is the author of more than 80 scientific articles and 11 books, including the book Science Set Free (The Science Delusion in the UK) from 2012.
  • In 2015 he received The Lucia Cianci Prize for innovative thinking, while in 2013 the Swiss Duttweiler Institute placed him among their 100 leading “Global Thought Leaders".

Further information:

Professor Ebba Nexø
Chair of the Organising Committee, PhD Day
Aarhus University
Tel:. (+45) 7846 3083