Chakad Ojani admitted to SCAS cutting-edge research program


The Department's postdoc Chakad Ojani has been selected for the prestigious Pro Futura Scientia program for promising early-career researchers. For five years, he will further develop his research on the relationship between space infrastructure, environment, and climate change.

The Pro Futura Scientia program is sponsored by the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) and aims to give talented researchers the opportunity to develop in a stimulating and stable environment.

Chakad Ojani, postdoc at the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, is one of five researchers in the humanities and social sciences selected for the program this year. This means five years of fully funded research and the opportunity to get a permanent position at the nominating university, in Chakad's case the Department of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University.

-The program is structured so that you start with a year at the nominating department. This is followed by a year at SCAS in Uppsala, and then a year abroad at a collaborating Institute of Advanced Studies before returning to the nominating university for another two years. The idea is that, in addition to developing your own research, you  also get the opportunity to take part in interdisciplinary conversations, both in Sweden and internationally, says Chakad.

Chakad's application was based on his postdoc project on the relation between space infrastructure, the environment, and climate change, which fits within SCAS' broader research agenda on global challenges.

-The project will focus on what the ongoing commercialization of space means for the Swedish space industry and our relationship to the environment. Space anthropology is a small but growing field that I became curious about while working on my doctoral thesis on fog capture in Peru. It dealt in part with the field Anthropology of Atmospheres, which gradually led me to space anthropology. At the same time, news began to spread that Sweden would expand its rocket launch site to send satellites into orbit. I thought it was an interesting and relevant theme, especially considering the changes that the global space industry is currently undergoing and plans to return to the moon. It also raises questions from the fields of environmental anthropology and infrastructure. Studying these developments is a means to diversify our understanding of people’s relationships to space. Ideas about space take different forms depending on the specific practices and contexts in which they are embedded. In this project I am mainly curious about the Swedish context.

Chakad is mostly looking forward to spending five years doing the research he is passionate about and taking part in developing a growing social scientific field.

-There are several questions in the research that I see as important, for example, how people's relationships to space today are often linked to climate change and other contemporary global challenges. I see Pro Futura Scientia as a platform for influencing this development and society more broadly. I also look forward to being part of a research environment with top researchers from other disciplines and having interesting exchanges with them, Chakad concludes.


Last modified: 2023-08-02