University Post
University of Copenhagen
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The top UCPH media darlings in 2018

Communication — When it comes to getting in the media, the political scientists dominate the University of Copenhagen list, followed by the lawyers and the economists. Here is the list of researchers who are most often quoted in the media.

1. Kasper Møller Hansen

Professor of political science, Social Sciences
1915 mentions

Last autumn’s municipal elections were a busy time for election researcher Kasper Møller Hansen. He often spoke to one or two journalists a day, even though he sometimes says no if the subject is outside his area of research.

How we did it

We defined a period from 23rd July 2017 to 23rd July 2018 and counted the media coverage in the Infomedia database. There is no distinction between print and online media, or between local media and national newspapers. It is an indicator rather than a comprehensive measure of the researchers’ impact.

“I am contacted to talk about trends or specific cases within election research. But I also use the journalists when I have research results that I want to get out into the media. I feel that I become better at communicating by talking to journalists,” says Kasper Møller Hansen, who adds that he is fortunate to work in a subject area that never goes out of fashion.

“I actually think that I have an obligation to communicate research that can be used in the media. And 30 seconds on the TV news gives you a lot more street credit down when you pick up the kids in kindergarten than 20 research articles. But it is, of course, the research articles and books, that have given me the substance to get into the media in the first place.”


Professor of political science, Social Sciences
897 mentions

Peter Nedergaard has been employed at UCPH since 2008, and before that he was at CBS. With research areas like European integration and international political economy, he is a popular source for the media – most recently, and in particular, due to Brexit and Germany’s challenges with integration policy.

“The last years, there has been a lot of focus on German policy and Brexit, of course. I have no problem with media comments, we researchers actually have an obligation to communicate our knowledge,” says Nedergaard, who also does podcasts for the magazine Ræson.

But he stresses that it is important for established researchers to also send journalists on to others, if the subject is outside their own field of research. This does both the media and his younger colleagues a service, he reckons.

“There is a tendency for those who are cited in the media, to be even more cited. I refer half of media requests to others, both at UCPH and other universities. Otherwise younger researchers will never be allowed in.”


Professor of political science, head of Centre for European Politics, Social Sciences
856 mentions

It went global when Marlene Wind last January asked critical questions of Catalan leader Charles Puigdemont during his visit to UCPH. The university was accused of giving Puigdemont a free platform for his views, and Wind would have none of it:

“I challenged him and asked him about things that no one has been able to ask him in Spain because he keeps the media at a distance,” says Marlene Wind, who adds that the Puigdemont-case has resulted in a soon-to-be-released book ‘The Tribalization of Europe’ from a Spanish publishing house.

In addition, she has commented on Brexit and political developments in Hungary and Poland:

“It is difficult to understand Brexit if you do not understand both the political and EU-legal basis upon which membership is based. In addition, I have spoken about the movement towards an illiberal democracy in Hungary and Poland. This is closely linked to my research at iCourts (the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre of Excellence for international courts) and is about what democracy is in a time of populism.”


Associate Professor and research director for the Employment Relations Research Centre (FAOS), Social Sciences
824 mentions

The topic that has taken up most of Mikkel Mailand’s work in 2018 was this spring’s collective bargaining between labour market groups. During the negotiations, he was contacted by 15 to 20 journalists a day. He did, however, share media contacts with his colleagues. “At FAOS we try not to be political. Instead our statements explain the process in a negotiation and the reason for it. We researchers risk being used as a tool by the negotiating parties, who sometimes are very strategic in what they say and don’t say. We can also help shape public opinion, and we are of course aware of this,” says Mailand, who is also used as a source in connection with non-typical appointments, the EU, and Danish employment policy. He describes his collaboration with the media as good. FAO also write their own stories on the basis of research results to trade publications or newspapers. “We are an externally financed research centre, so we go to great lengths to be visible in the media. We speak with journalists about our field, communicate our research on our website and via newsletters and write feature articles and analyses about our research.”


Professor of criminal law, Law
802 mentions

One of the grand old men of UCPH is Jørn Vestergaard, who does research in criminal law and comments in the press about both cases that concern legal principles and festering political cases.

“The journalists that make requests to someone like me, do it as a part of their job. So I normally answer all their enquiries. If I do not think that I have something meaningful to contribute with, I try to refer it on to a colleague who has knowledge on the subject. Some questions are easy to answer, because you have been working with the theme in research or teaching. If not, you have to use the opportunity to dig deeper into the material, and provide a relevant response,” says Jørn Vestergaard, who generally appreciates dealing with the press:

“An ongoing contact with the press is a way of keeping up to date with what is happening in your own subject area. In addition, you often find inspiration and professional challenges, which can then be used in research and teaching. So the time spent on communication is generally well spent.”


Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Social Sciences
678 mentions

As a professor of political science Vedby Rasmussen does research in international relations and globalisation. He was one of the founders of the Danish Centre for Military Studies, which he headed from 2006 to 2009. Since 2016, he has been head of the Department of Political Science.

7. Bente Klarlund Pedersen

Clinical professor in integrative medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Health and Medicine
567 mentions

One of the few health researchers on the list is the professor in integrative medicine Bente Klarlund Pedersen. She has helped to identify muscles as an endoctrine organ, received the Rosenkjær award in 2010, and responds to questions from readers in the Danish newspaper Politiken.

8. Peter Birch Sørensen

Professor of Economics, Social Sciences
555 mentions

The last few years, Birch Sørensen has paid particular attention to the environmental, resource and climate economy. He heads two research projects on the measurement of Denmark’s green national product and the development of an environment-economical simulation model for the Danish economy.

9. Eske Willerslev

Professor, Natural History Museum of Denmark, and Centre Director, Centre for Geogenetics, Science
522 mentions

Willerslev originally started as an environmental microbiologist and has achieved groundbreaking results in ice core research. But the last seven years he has revolutionized DNA research and has worked with human evolution and ice age species.


Professor in environmental law, Law
490 mentions

After ten years as a brick and concrete layer, Pagh became a trained lawyer and a professor of environmental law in 1999. He focuses, in particular, on issues that lead to public suits like in the cases on shale gas and on the Copenhagen metro construction. He has written more than 15 legal books.


Professor, Department of Economics, Social Sciences
489 mentions


Associate Professor and head of the Centre for Public Regulation and Administration, Law
482 mentions


Associate Professor, Employment Relations Research Centre FAOS, Social Sciences
465 mentions


Associate Professor of History, the SAXO Institute, Humanities
453 mentions


Vincent Hendricks is a Professor of Formal Philosophy and Head of the Center for Information and Bubble Studies.
444 mentions

16. Anja C. Andersen

Astrophysicist and professor in the public understanding of science at the Niels Bohr Institute, Science
404 mentions


Professor of constitutional law, Law
364 mentions


Professor Emerita, Law
346 mentions


Associate Professor and research director for the Employment Relations Research Centre (FAOS), Social Sciences
339 mentions


Professor of constitutional law, Law
335 mentions

21. Minik Rosing

Professor of geology, the Natural History Museum of Denmark, Science
326 mentions


Centre Director, Centre for Military Studies, Social Sciences
289 mentions

23 Arne Astrup

Head of the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports (NEXS)
278 mentions