Associate professor Thomas Bolander receives H.C. Ørsted Medaljen

Wednesday 29 May 19


Thomas Bolander
DTU Compute
+45 45 25 37 15

The official ceremony of the H.C. Ørsted Medal to Thomas Bolander takes place Monday 16. September 2019 at 19:30 in Auditorium 1, H.C. Ørsted Building, Universitetsparken 5, 2100 Copenhagen Ø.

For further information about the ceremony and registration, see Selskabet for Naturlærens Udbredelse.

The prestigious H.C. Ørsted Medalje is awarded to associate professor Thomas Bolander from DTU Compute for his excellent ability to disseminate research.

Associate professor Thomas Bolander is one of the leading researcher within artificial intelligence (AI) in Denmark and he really understands how to communicate his research. Bolander is an experienced teacher and diligent lecturer, and likes to participate in debates about the significance of artificial intelligence in society. Thereby, he helps create a basis for a better understanding among politicians, business people and citizens, about artificial intelligence.

He has held lectures in such different forums as Digital Summit in the Danish Parliament, Aalborg University Hospital, Folkemødet at Bornholm, Forskningens Døgn for high schools, and several ministries, as well as interviews for radio-, tv-, and newspapers.

Early interest in dissemination

The interest in dissemination started early for Thomas Bolander.

"I have always tried to be a better and better communicator," says Thomas Bolander and elaborates: "It all started when, as a young student, I went to all kinds of public lectures in all areas of mathematics, science and philosophy. Any lectures that differed positively in terms of communication, I always thought, 'when I grow up, I would like to give such lectures'."

Bolander's research on artificial intelligence focuses on the area between logic, mathematics and computer science, and primarily on the social aspects of artificial intelligence. Bolander is working to get computers and robots to interact socially with people so that the machines can start to understand a little of what people think and not just the other way around.

Absolutely exceptional

""There are many excellent lectures, but on rare occasions there is one speaker who strikes us as absolutely exceptional.""
Professor Dorte Olesen, president of Selskabet for Naturlærens Udbredelse

The H.C. Ørsted Medal is awarded by Selskabet for Naturlærens Udbredelse. This Society is not obliged to award the medal every year, but can award it when they meet an exceptional communicator. Every year, 10 major public lectures on the most current in Danish research are held, in order to make the latest knowledge available to as many people as possible. Thomas Bolander's lecture attracted an unseen large number of spectators and knocked the legs away under the Society’s management. The president of the Society, Professor Dorte Olesen, says:

"There are many excellent lectures, but on rare occasions there is one speaker who strikes us as absolutely exceptional. It does not happen so often, but when that happens, we begin to consider the possibility of an H.C. Ørsted medal. However, it is only given if we can see that the scope and the quality of his / her other dissemination efforts are also exceptional. "

Outstanding ability to communicate

To receive H.C. Ørsted Medal makes an impression on Thomas Bolander.

"I think the dissemination of science and research to the wider public is a very important task, and it's great that it's something to be rewarded for."

The award of the medal "is a recognition of Thomas Bolander's unique ability to convey both his own field of specialization - artificial intelligence - as well as much broader parts of the mathematical basis of modern engineering achievements," writes the Society in their press release.

The medal has previously been awarded to such exceptional communicators as Ove Nathan, Jens Martin Knudsen and Anja C. Andersen, so Thomas Bolander is now part of this very fine company.

"It is, of course, a very great honor, and I am in almost frightening good company with the former medal recipients," says Thomas Bolander.



Thomas Bolander

Thomas Bolander, PhD, is an associate professor at DTU Compute, where he does research in logic and artificial intelligence (AI). His research focuses primarily on social aspects of AI. He has given a large number of invited talks at international conferences and is at the same time very active in public outreach activities within artificial intelligence through popular science talks, radio and TV, written and online media.

Thomas Bolander has developed and taught a wide range of highly estimated courses in mathematics, computer science and artificial intelligence at DTU and is also involved in DTU’s continuing education activities within AI. Bolander serves on a number of commissions, expert panels and boards, and is also a member of the SIRI and TechDK commissions, among others.

Contact and website to Thomas Bolander.


The H.C. Ørsted Medal

The H.C. Ørsted Medal is named after the Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian Ørsted, who discovered electromagnetism in 1820.

Link to the website of Selskabet for Naturlærens Udbredelses.


Photo: Thomas Bolander at Folkemødet on Bornholm, photographed by Audra Bolander.

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