Cecilia Bödker Pedersen is general secretary of the Storasyster organisation. She helps those who have been victims of sexual abuse, and campaigns for a society free from sexual violence. Martin Hultman, docent at Chalmers University of Technology, conducts research into why we do not act more forcefully against climate change – even though we have known about the problems for more than 30 years. These two are Alumni of the Year at Linköping University, 2021.
Cecilia Bödker Pedersen took the Social Work programme at LiU and was appointed general secretary of Storasyster in 2014. Under her leadership, the organisation has grown and achieved a major impact not only in social media but also in traditional channels. She receives the award for her work to support many of those affected by sexual violence and to increase knowledge about it.
More than 20,000 sexual crimes are reported each year in Sweden, where most of those affected are girls and women. Many cases are not reported, and Storasyster estimates that half a million people are exposed to sexual abuse each year. It takes many forms: undesired pictures of genitals, having the word “whore” thrown at you, being forced to watch pornography, or being a victim of rape.
Leading the first global researcher network
Martin Hultman took the Social and Cultural Analysis programme and went on to research education in the Department of Thematic Studies – Technology and Social Change. He receives the Alumni of the Year award for his powerful work in setting the spotlight onto important questions of climate denialism, which has received attention both within Sweden and abroad.
Martin Hultman has since 2018 been leader of CEFORCED (Centre for Studies of Climate Change Denialism), the first global researcher network in the topic. The researchers investigate the ideas and interests that lie behind climate denialism, with a particular focus on right-wing nationalism, the mining industry, and conservative think tanks.
Celebrations in Norrköping and online
The Alumni of the Year will receive their awards on 8 October. The ceremony this year will be held at Campus Norrköping, where both studied. Just as last year, the ceremony will be broadcast live on Youtube, to ensure that as many people as possible can share in the talks given by the alumni.
Each year, Linköping University chooses two Alumni of the Year to recognise the work and commitment of previous students.
Translated by George Farrants