Björn Wittrock is a Founding Director and Permanent Fellow of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study and was its Principal in the years 1996-2018. He became University Professor at Uppsala University in 1999. Prior to that he held the Lars Hierta Chair of Government at Stockholm University.
His professional service has included being President of the International Institute of Sociology in the years 2005-2013, serving as Deputy Chair of the largest Consolidator panel of the ERC as well as on the Science Advisory Board of the Swedish Government and on boards and committees of more than twenty institutes for advanced study on four continents. He is one of the founders of SIAS, a group of leading institutes for advanced study and of NetIAS, the European group of such institutes.
Wittrock is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Academia Europaea – of which he is a Vice-President – and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been one of the five members of the Holberg Prize Committee. He is also a founding member of the Steering Committee of the International Panel on Social Progress.
Björn Wittrock has contributed to the sociology of ancient, medieval and modern societies and to global history, including The Cambridge World History, Vols. IV and V (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Among his publications are five monographs and fifteen edited books. The latter include Social Science at the Crossroads (with Shalini Randeria, Brill 2019); Axial Civilizations and World History (with J. P. Arnason and S. N. Eisenstadt, Brill, 2005); Eurasian Transformations, Tenth to Thirteenth Centuries (with J. P. Arnason, Brill, 2004 and 2011); The Rise of the Social Sciences and the Formation of Modernity (with J. Heilbron and L. Magnusson, Kluwer, 1998 and 2001); The European and American
University since 1800 (with S. Rothblatt, Cambridge University Press, 1993 and 2006); and Social Sciences and Modern States (with P. Wagner et al., Cambridge University Press, 1991 and 2008).
Among honours awarded are: The Torgny Segerstedt Medal (Uppsala University 1999); an Honorary Doctorate (U. of Tartu 2003); Federal Cross of Merit (President of Germany 2008); the dedication of Social Theory by Hans Joas and Wolfgang Knöbl (Cambridge University Press 2009); the King’s Medal (King of Sweden 2009) “for significant contributions to Swedish social science research”; The Benefit of Broad Horizons: Intellectual and Institutional Preconditions for a Global Social Science (Festschrift, Hans Joas and Barbro Klein, eds. (Brill 2010); the Gustavus Adolphus Medal in Gold (Uppsala University 2017): “… as Principal of SCAS and its driving force ever since its creation in 1985 [he] has contributed more than anyone else to the strong position of the institute as an internationally renowned institute for advanced study … and for having made great contributions to the social sciences and the humanities in Sweden and in Europe”.