Markets for scientific publication: an economic history

Project leader: Ylva Hasselberg
Project members: David Dellstig (Economic History, Uppsala University), Johan Svedjedal (Literature, Uppsala University), Peter Josephson (Södertörn University)
Duration: 2015-2019
Funding: Handelsbankens forskningsstiftelser

The aim of this project is to initiate the study of markets for scientific publication as a field of study within economic history. In particular the area of study is markets strategies, funding of scientific publication and its change over time, and the relationship between markets for publication, the state and funding agencies, 1770-2010.

Who reaps the benefits of innovation? New science based products/services and the distribution of material and monetary benefits

Project leader: Alexandra Waluszewski
Project members: Andrea Perna (Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University and Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy)
Duration: 2015-2019
Funding: Handelsbankens forskningsstiftelser

Do the extensive Swedish public and private life science innovation investments also lead to new products/services produced and marketed globally by companies located within the same legal borders as were the innovation investments were made? This is the overall research question the project, which aim to outline a) the forces behind those innovation investments that actually have resulted in a successful outcome; in terms of new products/services embedded into production/global marketing and widespread use, the spatial dimension included, and b) the distribution of social-material respectively monetary benefits among the involved actors.

Masters of flavor: Food invention in high-industrial Sweden

Project leader: Ingemar Pettersson
Project members: Daniel Normark (Economic History, Uppsala University)
Duration: 2017-2020
Funding: Riksbankens jubileumsfond

The purpose of the project is to examine how scientists and engineers analyzed and designed sensory properties of food – the "flavor" in other words – in twentieth century Sweden when food industries developed rapidly. We focus particularly on the field of sensory science which applied methods and techniques from for scientific areas such as chemistry, psychology, medicine and statistics for understanding smells, tastes and textures and how humans perceive them. This type of sensory research became increasingly important for food invention in the period and was used in laboratories, research institutes and test kitchens connected to the food industry in Sweden. The project aims to expand our knowledge of how tasting became a scientific venture and our main method is to do “biographies” of a range of food products and how their flavor characteristics were formed by different technoscientific practices. The method allows us to answer important questions about the human senses, science and technology, economic change and how the intersections of these areas were reconfigured in the course of food industrialization in the twentieth century. How were intrinsically subjective sensory appreciations turned into scientific objects? How, and why, were flavor standardized? What was "good" flavor – and who had the authority to make such judgments? How did food producers gain knowledge of consumer preferences? What social and economic mechanisms of industrialization prompted the scientification of tasting?

The academic building. Building, location and the development of research and teaching at Swedish universities 1975-2015

Project leader: Ylva Hasselberg
Project members: Magnus Eklund, Lars Fälting (Economic History, Uppsala University)
Duration: 2017-2020
Funding: Handelsbankens forskningsstiftelser

The aim of this project is to study building and use of physical space within Swedish universities 1975-2015 and to relate this area to the core activities of research and teaching. The main questions are:

  1. Which rationality has governed the procurement and distribution of physical space?
  2. Is it possible to trace a development over time in how universities handle issues related to construction and procurement of premises, e.g. in the share of the overall budget set aside for physical space?
  3. What consequences have strategies and decision related to physical space had for research and teaching?

The Market of Self-Realization. Swedish Correspondence and Distance Education, 1890s-1970s

Project leader: Orsi Husz
Project members: Nikolas Glover, (Economic History, Uppsala University), Håkan Forsell (History, Stockholm University)
Projektperiod: 2014-2018
Projektfinansiär: Handelsbankens forskningsstiftelser

Correspondence education filled a gap between two educational systems in twentieth century Swedish society: the old school and university system during the century's first part and the expansion of primary education, the advent of adult education and regional university campuses in the latter part. Correspondence schools offered courses to millions of people who otherwise, by economic and geographical reasons, would have been excluded from vocational or higher education. The largest companies had until the 1960s more students than for example the study circles of the working class movement (ABF) at the same time. But this type of school is almost absent in depictions of modern Swedish educational history. The project's aim is to problematize and deepen the lines of development of the “knowledge society” by studying the history of correspondence education in Sweden from ca 1900 to the 1970s. Long before the human capital theory got its breakthrough in the 1960s, correspondence education marketed “knowledge” with a focus on knowledge-intensive occupations and in terms of investment, financial gain and employability. Correspondence schools promoted self-realization and vocational learning, individual dreams and business standards in a complex association. The project asks how the logic and spirit of a "self-made (wo)man" could blend in well with a society that otherwise often are portrayed in terms of collective solutions and learning associations during the twentieth century.

The Metal Bazaar: Knowledge-making in the Stockholm Metal Trades during the ‘Long Eighteenth Century’

Project leader: Göran Rydén (Institutet för bostads- och urbanforskning, Uppsala universitet)
Project members: Måns Jansson (Ekonomisk-historiska, Uppsala univesitet)
Duration: 2017 - 2020
Funding: Handelsbankens forskningsstiftelser (Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius Stiftelse, Tore Browaldhs Stiftelse)

The aim with this project is to explore knowledge-making in the Stockholm metal trades during the ‘long eighteenth century’. It focuses on the period 1720–1820, including both the rapid expansion for the domestic manufacturing trades during the mid-eighteenth century and the later stagnation for the Stockholm-economy. This period witnessed changes in the political system as well as in the ideological views on economy and industries. Protectionist regulations and monopolistic policies successively gave way to ideas of more unregulated economic activities. Here, the expansion for metalworking in the ‘free town’ (Fristad) of Eskilstuna from the late-eighteenth century is one important reference point. The primary interest is in activities related to metal workshops included in the manufacturing system, and not the Stockholm metal-making guilds. Still, the boundaries and exchanges between these different institutional affiliations are of interest to us, with many artisans presumably moving between different workshops over time.
The project is built around three related ‘steps’. First of all, we will work towards the construction of a database on metal manufacturing in Stockholm during the period 1720–1820. The database will include general information about the number of workshops and employees. Secondly, artisan mobility will be investigated more closely, with a focus on the journeys of Stockholm artisans in Europe and the recruitments of foreign artisans. Finally, a number of ‘trajectories’ will be selected and followed over time: we will explore movements, employments and patterns of training that linked workshops in the urban space.

From professor´s privilege to entrepreneurial universities: Policies of patenting and commercialization in Sweden 1940–2000

Project leader: Ingemar Pettersson
Duration: 2017-2020
Funding: Handelsbankens forskningsstiftelser

The main objective of the project is to study changes in the politics of academic research through a focus on commercialization and intellectual ownership. In particular, the project seeks to understand the normative contexts of university science and how they have changed over the twentieth century. Important topics for the project are, for instance, the emergence of organizational infrastructures for commercialization of academic research; the relations of universities toward other forms of knowledge producers; legislative frameworks – notably the so-called professor's privilege; the large reforms of the university sector taking place in the post-war decades in Sweden; the use of patents for measuring productivity and ranking universities; and the political movements attempting to transform universities into drivers of innovation and make academic science more "entrepreneurial".

The Business of Identity. Money and Identification in Twentieth Century Sweden

Project leader: Orsi Husz
Duration: 2018 - 2021
Funding: Vetenskapsrådet

The concept of identity has become omnipresent in the social sciences and humanities. Yet the most obvious aspect of how society handles identities has rarely been explored, namely the actual practice of identification. The few existing historical studies of documented identity direct their focus towards the efforts of bureaucratic states to make their citizens ‘legible’ and controllable, especially in relation to mobility and crime. However, in the emerging consumer society of the 20th century the most prevalent situations requiring identification have been the economic transactions of daily life. Moreover, such financial identifications (e.g. today’s digital BankIDs) have often been used for other purposes than commercial transactions. There are, in short, strong economic interests involved in the infrastructures of identity. This project studies the changing interconnections between everyday finances and identification, or, in more abstract terms, between money and identity. I will explain why Swedish banks gained such an important role in the management of identities (unique in international comparison) by analysing how material devices for identification (such as the Post Office’s and the banks’ ID-cards and credit cards) were developed and how they replaced earlier forms of identifications. By applying a cultural theoretical perspective I aim to show how social/cultural identities and the infrastructures of identification shape each other in the business of identity.

The intimate relationship. A cultural economic history of everyday finances

Project leader: Orsi Husz
Duration: 2018 - 2019
Funding: Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ Sabbatical Grant)

In most western societies today it is nearly impossible to manage one’s life without a bank account. Formal financial institutions are in many ways involved in our daily life and in the allocation of almost every penny we earn, spend, borrow, invest or simply transfer to each other. Although savings accounts were common already in the 19th century in Sweden, a close everyday relationship between banks and ordinary people started to develop in the late 1950s. The proposed book explores the cultural problems and changes that this transition necessarily involved –already before de so called financialisation since the 1980s. This is a story about class: how did workers start to use check accounts offered by commercial banks, something that only the most privileged held before? And a story about gender: why and how were finances and banking redefined in a more feminine and domestic frame? It is also about moralities and the attempts to de-stigmatize consumer credit when credit cards were introduced. And lastly about financial knowledge (financial literacy) and the practices and negotiations concerning what ordinary people should know about everyday finance and who should advise them. A research stay at the University Paris-Nanterre will intensify my dialogue with colleagues – historians and economic sociologists – with whom I have been collaborating on these questions over the past years. It also opens for comparative insights, joint grant applications and educational exchanges.