In August, the former director and founder of LUCSUS, Lennart Olsson, handed over the directorship to Emily Boyd.
We welcome our new director by asking some quick questions on her thoughts about and visions for LUCSUS.
Read also the interview with Emily in the latest LUM, Lund University Magazine 5/16: “Sweden is at the forefront on sustainability!”
5 quick questions for Emily Boyd
My most recent appointment was as professor at the University of Reading in England, where I was in charge of the research on global development, which is also my main area of research. My focus is on climate change and poverty issues, including the study of the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable and poor.
I have also worked at the University of Oxford and the University of Leeds. I did my postdoc at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, where I gained my first insight into and experience of Swedish higher education.
What made you interested in LUCSUS and Lund University?
Lund University is and outstanding university and LUCSUS is one of the most active and exciting centres for sustainability issues. I especially like its combination of theoretical and practical specialisation and the close collaboration with stakeholders.
Sweden is currently making a lot of progress concerning these issues. The country is a leading example when it comes to sustainability issues and there’s a lot of government support – so now is a particularly exciting time to be a part of this work.
Sweden is investing more in female researchers and is at the forefront when it comes to gender equality, so these things are also important to me as a female researcher and leader.
There is also a unique “work-life balance” that offers the conditions you need for a more sustainable way of living. As sustainability is part of my work, it is important to me that I am able to live sustainably as well.
How does it feel to finally be here at LUCSUS and in Lund?
Fantastic! It feels like this is a very good time to be arriving in Lund and at Lund University as an international researcher. I have been very warmly received by everyone, and been offered plenty of support. The expectations are of course high – mine and others’ – but that is as it should be.
How do you hope to contribute as the new director of LUCSUS?
I hope to contribute with my enthusiasm and experience, both within research and as a leader. I want to help improve the quality of research, and achieve recognition for our research and education. I also hope to be able to help organise our research so that the outside world understands what we do. The most important thing is, of course, the quality of research, but we must also be able to tell the world what we do and why it is important.
Both communication and leadership skills are also important to me, and I believe I have good experience and knowledge to share in this respect.
What is your vision for LUCSUS?
I want LUCSUS to be one of the foremost interdisciplinary centres in the world, working with issues concerning sustainability, development and climate, through a theoretical and practical approach – making a real world impact.
I want people to want to get involved and work at LUCSUS, and for us to be highly diverse, in terms of both our research and our researchers.
I am currently working on writing down my visions for the centre, and I have already come up with a list of things to tackle right away.