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Selfless work rewarded with a million from KTH

Published Sep 24, 2010

He has been named one of the world's foremost thinkers and for 25 years he has striven to make all of the people in the world feel better and less sick. Hans Rosling - this year's winner of KTH's Major Prize.

"Hans Rosling is spreading, with a caring and pedagogical pathos, scientifically-based science about the health conditions in the world by showing how statistics can be processed into understanding in an easily accessible manner. He is one of the founders of the Gapminder Foundation, a foundation which has developed the software Trendalyzer which, with its innovative animations, makes the story of the world's development understandable in a beautiful and entertaining way.

Hans Rosling’s ability to inspire and create a belief in the future is exemplary and for his selfless work on improving man's health with the help of technology he has been awarded the KTH Major Prize 2010."

These are the words that provide the motivation as to why Hans Rosling will receive KTH’s Major Prize this year, which consists of a fine distinction and SEK 1 million.

With this, Hans Rosling is now included in the same group of prominent entrepreneurs such as Niklas Zennström, Gunilla Pontén, Lennart Nilsson and Håkan Lans.

Hans Rosling is very pleased about receiving the prize.

"It is particularly enjoyable to receive it from KTH, Sweden's leading university of technology. This is because as a professor in the soft subject people’s health, I have succeeded in explaining what the world looks like by using advanced information technology," says Hans Rosling.

He has a clear image of his ambitions, and what motivates him.

"I want my grandchildren to have a good world to live in. So you could say that it is an enlightened self-interest that motivates me. I would also like to rid the world of hunger and war, and avoid the climate crisis by developing economically sound energy systems. Sweden's future is very much dependent on what happens in the world, not what happens in Sweden," says Hans Rosling.

He ends by adding that it would not do any harm with greater visions for the future.

"We human beings are useless at thinking ahead. We remember when our grandparents were born, but we do not give any consideration as to how long our grandchildren will live," says Hans Rosling.

Facts about Hans Rosling

He is one of the founders of the Swedish section of Doctors without Borders. He has worked with global public health issues for more than 25 years and is a professor of International Health at the Department of Public Health at Karolinska Institutet. The magazine Wallpaper has ranked Hans Rosling’s foundation Gapminder as one of the 10 leading trademarks and he can also call himself one of the world's foremost thinkers. This, following his listing in the magazine Foreign Policy - the 100 people that shaped the world 2009.

Facts about KTH's Major Prize

KTH's Major Prize this year amounts to SEK 1 million and is provided from the returns of a donation which came from an anonymous donor. The prize is awarded to Swedish citizens who through pioneering efforts and discoveries and the creation of new values, particularly within technology but also within science and art, promote our people's well-being.