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    Fabianinkatu 24 (P.O. Box 4)
    00014 University of Helsinki

    Tel. +358 2 941 21735



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Human Mortality Project (2011–2013)

Mortality image

Human Mortality project (2011-2013) discussed death, dying and mortality in an interdisciplinary network. Project was funded by Finnish Cultural Foundation as part of the Argumenta funding model. Argumenta projects are intended to stimulate dialogue between researchers in different fields of science on significant current subjects of research. Similarly, in the Human Mortality project the aim was to open new discussions both academically and among wider audiences and policy makers. This project was also thematically related to the partially targeted calls for applications at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies in 2010-2011 and is thus linked with a number of individual research projects of Collegium Fellows.

The project brought together scholars from different fields, such as philosophy, history, theology, linguistics, law studies, sociology, anthropology, economics, gender studies, psychology, medicine, biology, literature, media and art studies. The overarching questions addressed during the course of the project concerned topics such as changing definitions of death, how the meaning of death is changing and why death studies are a current topic today.

The project concentrated on organizing lecture series, seminars and conferences. Another major part of the project is to produce publications discussing human mortality, both in Finnish and in English.


Sponsors and Cooperative Partners

Centre for Death and Life Studies
Finnish Cultural Foundation
Nordic Network of Thanatology (NNT)
Suomalaisen kuolematutkimuksen seura


Steering Group

Project director, Professor Sami Pihlström (University of Helsinki)
Academy Research Fellow Sara Heinämaa (University of Helsinki)
Medical director Juha Hänninen (Terhokoti)
Academy Research Fellow Sari Kivistö (University of Helsinki)
Professor Simo Knuuttila (University of Helsinki)
Academy Research Fellow Virpi Mäkinen (University of Helsinki)
Professor Anssi Peräkylä (University of Helsinki)
Academy Research Fellow Anne Birgitta Pessi (University of Helsinki)
Professor Risto Saarinen (University of Helsinki)
Academy Professor Juha Sihvola (University of Jyväskylä) † 2012
Professor Seppo Vainio (University of Oulu)


Contact Information

Outi J. Hakola
Programme Coordinator
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
Email. outi.j.hakola(at)