Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences

This year’s winner of Skytte Prize to lecture in University Main Building

25 September 2013

On Saturday 28 September, this year’s recipient of the Skytte Prize, Robert Axelrod at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and Department of Political Science, University of Michigan, will receive his award and, in connection with the conferment, will deliver a public lecture in the University Main Building.

Robert Axelrod is a political scientist with a past as a mathematician. He bases his research on insights from game theory, and his works have been disseminated far beyond the borders of political science. He is being awarded the Skytta Prize for “having fundamentally altered our view of the conditions for human cooperation”.
 
His most frequently cited and acclaimed book The Evolution of Cooperation came out in 1984, preceded by an award-winning article that Axelrod published together with the biologist William D. Hamilton in Science in 1981. At the core of his interest is the fundamental question of under what circumstances cooperation, and not conflict, can be a beneficial strategy in a context driven by self-interest. The key factor is long-term relations where the parties meet again and again, which paves the way for the development of reciprocity.

In his work Robert Axelrod has opened new academic horizons and has helped to shape economics, political science, biology, sociology, anthropology, and computer science. His findings are of crucial importance to a better understanding of international relations, negotiations, complex organisations, and political decision-making assemblies.
 
The award ceremony and the public lecture titled “How Political Science Can Enrich Other Disciplines” will take place in the University Main Building, Hall X, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, on 28/9, at 5. 45 p.m. (ca.).
 
The award will be conferred by the holder of the Skytte Chair, Li Bennich-Björkman. The prize is one of the largest and most prestigious distinctions in political science, with a prize of SEK 500 000 that is bestowed by the Skytte Foundation at Uppsala University to the person who has made “the most valuable contribution to political science”. The prize is being awarded for the 19th time.