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At the University of Copenhagen, you will be educated, challenged and entertained. You will learn things that can challenge both your own and others' understanding of the world, you will experience disagreement with your teachers and your fellow students and you will find out that you can agree to disagree.
»An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field,« Niels Bohr once said.
At the university, there are many such experts that Bohr talks about. Their common trait is that they have all been students and that, in their time at university, they hopefully made loads of mistakes that made them wiser.
Learn from Bohr and remember that making mistakes is part of the learning process, also at university.
Here at the University, you will be educated, challenged and entertained. You will learn things that can challenge both your own and others’ understanding of the world, you will experience disagreement with your teachers and your fellow students and you will find out that you can agree to disagree.
This year is the centenary of Niels Bohr’s winning the Nobel Prize in physics for his atomic model. The model explains the quantum nature of atoms and describes how light is emitted and absorbed by atoms at certain wavelengths. Bohr’s discovery became epochal for research. We do not expect Nobel prizes from (all of) you, but we hope that you will find inspiration in Bohr’s life and work. His contribution to research and his engagement in society.
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After being part of the Manhattan project, which led to the development of the first atomic bomb, Bohr was worried about the risk of complete destruction from nuclear weapons. He increasingly involved himself in politics and diplomacy. To promote the peaceful use of nuclear power, he sent an open letter to the United Nations urging the free exchange of nuclear information in an attempt to mediate between East and West.
Today, the university also creates knowledge that can be used in several ways. The university is part of a global knowledge community that provides clarity in fundamental issues and solutions to major societal challenges. The university helps us to understand the war in Ukraine and contributes with solutions to the climate crisis and the corona pandemic. And the university lays the foundation for seeing the world in new ways, from quantum computers to culture.
As students at UCPH you are part of this community. You will challenge existing norms and understandings, you will be those who ask the new questions, and you will be challenged by both lecturers and society.
You are now embarking on some of the pivotal years of your life. That’s why you must take care of one another. You should use the university for both learning and pleasure. Friday bars, knitting clubs and the lectures all provide important input. And can take you places you had never expected to go.
But remember what Bohr said. Learn, make mistakes and have fun at the same time.
Welcome to the University of Copenhagen!