Turmoil and Reorganization: The Dissolution of Lund University’s Astronomy Department

Turmoil and Reorganization: The Dissolution of Lund University's Astronomy Department

Bullying scandal leads to the disbandment of the astronomy department at Lund University in Sweden, causing upheaval and disruption for astronomers and researchers.

In a shocking turn of events, Lund University in Sweden has dissolved its astronomy department following a long-standing bullying scandal involving two senior professors. The university’s delayed response to the complaints has not only affected the careers and research of astronomers but has also created a tumultuous environment for scientific pursuits. As the department is absorbed into the physics division, the repercussions of this decision are far-reaching and have left many questioning the handling of the situation.

Turmoil and its Impact on Scientific Endeavors

The prolonged duration of the bullying scandal at Lund University has had severe consequences for the scientific community. Astronomers have expressed their frustration, stating that the university’s delayed response made it nearly impossible to conduct research during the past few years. The resulting turmoil has led to the departure of several prominent astronomers, while those who remain have had their careers and research disrupted. The disbandment of the department has left a lasting impact on the field of astronomy and theoretical physics at Lund University.

Administrative Decisions and the Reorganization Process

Sven Lidin, the dean of science at Lund University, ultimately made the difficult decision to dissolve the astronomy department after unsuccessful attempts to resolve the issues within the existing organization. Lidin brought in external administrators to conduct interviews and negotiations, but a resolution could not be reached. The faculty board voted to dissolve the department, with most astronomers being relocated to the physics department. The reorganization has also affected the theoretical physics group, causing further upheaval within the scientific community.

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Lingering Effects on the Astronomical Community

The dissolution of the astronomy department has had a profound impact on the careers and lives of those involved. The prolonged nature of the scandal has taken a toll on the mental health and well-being of astronomers, making the situation increasingly traumatic. The lack of effective responses to bullying and harassment in academia has been highlighted, emphasizing the need for universities to develop better support systems. The damage caused by the reorganization will take time to repair, leaving many astronomers contemplating their future within the field.

Historical Significance and Uncertain Future

Astronomy holds a rich history at Lund University, dating back to the establishment of its first observatory in 1672. The relocation of astronomers from the astronomy building to the physics department raises questions about the fate of historical artifacts and the cultural heritage associated with the department. The university has yet to determine the future use of the vacated space, leaving the fate of cherished displays and telescopes uncertain.


The dissolution of Lund University’s astronomy department in the aftermath of a bullying scandal has had far-reaching consequences for the scientific community. The delayed response to the complaints and the subsequent reorganization have disrupted research, careers, and the overall well-being of astronomers. The incident highlights the urgent need for effective measures to address bullying and harassment in academia. As astronomers at Lund University strive to rebuild and move forward, they face the challenge of restoring their community and reaffirming the importance of astronomy in their institution.

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