Press Release from Umeå University

Åforsk Foundation praises popular professor

[2017-02-14] Plant scientist and Professor Stefan Jansson was awarded the 2017 Knowledge Prize, Kunskapspriset, together with SEK 100,000 by the ÅForsk Foundation. He is being praised for his prominent contributions as a committed and untiring public educator who fights well and hard for knowledge.

“I feel incredibly honoured and happy. Actually, I think there should be more prizes that encourage researchers to use their knowledge in the public debate. It’s probably never been more important than at present. Four weeks ago, I wrote a debate article in the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet on fact resistance, since then alone alternative facts has been on everyone’s lips, and the role model Hans Rosling, who received this prize in 2006, has passed. More than one of me will be needed to fill his shoes,” says Stefan Jansson, professor in plant cell and molecular biology at Umeå University.

Stefan Jansson is not only an internationally prominent researcher in the plant biology field, he also has a particular aptitude and spends a lot of time reaching out with popular science. His commitment against research-hostility is also important, particularly the resistance against modern plant breeding. In the last year, his focus has been on legislations against GMO, genetically modified organisms, in relation to new technologies for genome-editing such as CRISPR-Cas9.

Stefan Jansson was awarded the Knowledge Prize with the following motivation:

“Stefan Jansson is a committed and untiring public educator who fights well and hard for knowledge. He is constantly active in public debate, he takes part in humour programmes and political debates, he informs about both his own and other’s research to school kids and to pensioners alike. He is active in bringing knowledge into the debate on GMO and ecological cultivation to counteract fact resistance.”


Stefan Jansson was born in 1959 in Sveg, in the Swedish county of Jämtland. He has a Degree of Master of Science in Secondary Education in Chemistry and Biology from 1986 after which he took on an academic career. He took his doctoral degree at Umeå University in Plant Molecular Biology in 1992 and was promoted as professor in plant cell and molecular biology in 2002.

Stefan Jansson has published over 120 scientific articles and is one of the most cited plant scientists in Europe. He is member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and of the Royal Skyttean Society. He has been awarded the Baltics Samverkanspris Award, which has a popular science specialisation, as well as the SPPS Popular Science Prize.

About ÅForsk

For more information, please contact:

Stefan Jansson, Department of Plant Physiology
Phone: +46 70-677 23 31

Portrait photo for download Photo: Johan Gunséus

Editor: Anna Lawrence

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