Paleonet: Olof Selling obituary

Steve Mcloughlin Steve.Mcloughlin at
Wed Apr 25 16:23:34 GMT 2012

Dear Colleagues,

We announce the recent death of Olof Selling, former professor of paleobotany at the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Olof Hugo Selling was born on Nov 2nd 1917 and died of natural causes on March 6th 2012 in Stockholm (aged 94). He was best known for his research on the Quaternary palynology of the Pacific region, especially Hawaii. He gained his doctorate from the University of Stockholm in 1949 and worked at the Swedish Museum of Natural History between 1948 and 1966 (1951-1966 as professor and head of the department of Paleobotany). Notably, Selling was also the principal protagonist in the "Selling Affair" - a conflict between Selling on the one hand and Rudolf Florin (of the Stockholm Botanic Gardens) and members of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences on the other, who sought to have Selling removed from his position. Perceived victimization of Selling by his opponents through the legal system led journalist Vilhelm Moberg to publish several newspaper articles and an account of the Selling Affair (Sellingaffären) in 1957. This was one of several legal scandals in Sweden during the 1950s and ended with the Minister of Justice, Herman Zetterberg, being forced to resign in 1957. A further consequence was the separation of the Swedish Museum of Natural History from governance by the Royal Academy of Sciences and its transfer to the Ministry of Culture. A list of Selling's publications can be found on Google Scholar Citations at:

Stephen McLoughlin & Else Marie Friis
Department of Paleobotany, Swedish Museum of Natural History

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