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The Academic Day 2024 honoured university cooperation in Turku

The Academic Day was celebrated on 22 March 2024 in the Old Academy Building in Turku. The day celebrates the prosperous cooperation between the universities in Turku.

The Academic Day is celebrated annually to commemorate the founding of the Royal Academy of Turku in 1640. It is a way to recognise the good cooperation between the current universities in Turku. This year, the event was hosted by Åbo Akademi University.

The celebrations started of with welcoming remarks by Mikael Lindfelt, Rector at Åbo Akademi University.

“Queen Christina of Sweden founded the Royal Academy in Turku to honour the highest level of education, in the midst of a burning war. And then, as today, the importance of the university in society is enormous,” said Mr Lindfelt.

Fanny Karell, Petra Eriksson, Ida Sahlin och Lina Jylhä.
Fanny Karell (to the left), Petra Eriksson, Ida Sahlin and Lina Jylhä from the Flora Choir performed.

The keynote speech was given by Juha VuoriUniversity Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Turku. Vuori spoke about peace and conflict research.

“Research in international politics was born in the aftermath of the First World War. The goal was to find a scientific path to peace, and since World War II, peace research has been a scientific discipline in its own right. We live in a time when it is very important to talk about peace and research peace, Vuori emphasised.

“Despite this, there has been far more research on war and conflict than on peace. In fact, it is very difficult, or almost impossible, to research peace without paying attention to war. Peace as a concept is not easy to define. Is it a situation where there is no war – something we usually call negative peace? Or is peace something more, a situation perhaps characterised by cooperation and integration – something we usually call positive peace?” Vuori continued.

The Academic Day also saw the presentation of the Docent of the Year award. The award, which is given by the Docent Association of the Universities of Turku, was awarded to Antti Hakanen, Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Turku.

According to the award justification, Antti Hakanen is a shining example of how working at the interface between university and society can translate scientific results into practice and at the same time be an active producer of science and educator of researchers.  

Antti Hakanen, Antti Pajala, Sari Mäkelä.
Antti Hakanen (centre) received the Docent of the Year award from Docent Antti Pajala (left) from the Docent Association and Professor Sari Mäkelä from (right) the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Turku.
Mikael Lindfelt.
Rector Mikael Lindfelt welcomed the participants.
Juha Vuori
Juha Vuori, University Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Turku, gave a speech on peace research.