August 21 2017
By Kristoffe Biglete


Photo credits: Simon Skipper Christiansen (photo) & B14 (design)

Not your average, everyday Host


Johan Olsen captures the attention of a room when he walks in. Not because of his appearance, brash character or loud nature, but quite the opposite. His quiet and thoughtful presence when asked a question holds your attention – his body language shares his passion and thoughtfulness. This attention-grabbing presence, as well as his local fame as lead singer of the band Magtens Korridorer by night and scientist at a lab by day, is one of the reasons we’ve asked him to lead the show on August 23rd.


Commanding an audience on stage is something he does often. From dynamic 1-on-1 conversations over lunch, to local Doctorates who present their research for tens of people, to the main stages at heavy metal concerts in front of thousands, he does it all.


“I introduce the people who give the talks but I also find a few words to explain my take on the topic because I have quite a lot of experience with uncertainty.”


There are few people who have such complete, complimentary life experiences as successful professional singers and scientists. And it is the intersection of these two diverse ways of seeing the world that make Johan so interesting. Since we will be speaking a lot about uncertainty in a few days’ time, what exactly does it mean to you, Johan?


“The first thing I think about when I hear the word uncertainty, or trust uncertainty, is science. As a scientist, uncertainty is an important part of my life and my work. "


"If you measure something, there is a level of uncertainty to that measurement. But of course, uncertainty covers a lot of different topics, both philosophical and everyday topics are connected to the phenomenon of uncertainty.  Uncertainty is an intricate part of life – you can’t avoid uncertainty it’s simply there. Quantum mechanics showed us that uncertainty is an actual natural phenomenon. You can’t actually – such as Newtonian physics – measure everything precisely. There are things that are precisely uncertain.”


Until August 23rd, the only thing we seem to know is that uncertainty is very very certain.


-By Alexandra Connerty


Johan Olsen is the front singer of rock band Magtens Korridorer and a protein crystallographer at Copenhagen University.