PhD, Researcher at Lund University
Lennart Nilsson was a legendary Swedish photographer and scientist known for his groundbreaking work in medical photography and his pioneering images of human embryos, viruses, bacteria, immune cells, and other biological phenomena. His extraordinary contributions to our understanding of life’s intricate beauty continue to inspire generations.
I’d like to share a story that illustrates the profound impact Lennart Nilsson had on my journey as an entrepreneur. As an university lecturer, I’ve always strived to instill in my students the importance of thinking outside the box, breaking with tradition, and taking calculated risks to achieve their goals. One question I often receive from my students is, “When did you realize you were an entrepreneur?” My response has consistently been that entrepreneurship evolves over time, shaped by experiences and personal growth.
However, little did I know that my own entrepreneurial journey would be profoundly influenced by Lennart Nilsson.
As I was finalizing my doctoral thesis on “Novel immunotherapies and immunoregulation of multiple sclerosis”, I faced a pivotal decision regarding the cover page. While the norm was to use a simple cover with basic details, my inclination was to create a cover that truly represented the essence of my research – an image of an immune cell.
The challenge was that I didn’t have a suitable image in my collection. That’s when I turned to Lennart Nilsson’s work, particularly his remarkable book “Livet”, which featured breathtaking electron microscope images of immune cells, among other wonders of life.
With admiration and audacity, I reached out to Lennart Nilsson himself via email, explaining my situation and my deep appreciation for his work. I asked if I could use one of his images on my doctoral thesis cover page. To my astonishment and gratitude, Lennart shortly replied and generously provided me with a CD containing several stunning, previously unpublished images of immune cells. All he requested in return was a simple acknowledgment in my book.
This act of kindness and support from Lennart left an indelible mark on me. It not only enriched my thesis but, more significantly, it bolstered my self-confidence and belief in my ideas and challenges as I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey.
Today, on Lennart Nilsson’s birthday, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to this extraordinary individual. His contributions to science and photography was undeniably remarkable, but his ability to inspire and uplift others, like myself, was equally profound.
As we honor Lennart Nilsson’s legacy today, let us remember the impact of generosity, the courage to defy conventions, and the positive influence we can have on others when we believe in their potential.
You are missed, Lennart! Your soul lives on in the people you touched!