Päiviö Tommila, Academician of Science, has passed away

22 Nov 2022

Academician of Science Päiviö Tommila (b. 1931) has passed away at the age of 91. Tommila was a distinguished Finnish historian. His research focused especially on Finland’s political history in the 19th century as well as on urban and journalistic history. He was a very productive and respected scholar and a contributor or editor of more than fifty works that shed light on the different aspects of Finnish history.

Tommila headed a number of extensive history projects that resulted in comprehensive series of works, among them Suomen kulttuurihistoria (1979–1982), Suomen kaupunkilaitoksen historia (1981–1984), Suomen lehdistön historia (1988), Suomen hallitsijat (2000) and Suomen tieteen historia (2000–2003).

During his long university career, he served as professor at two universities and as rector at one. He was Professor of Finnish History at the University of Turku from 1965 to 1976, after which he assumed the corresponding position at the University of Helsinki from 1976 to 1994. Tommila also served as Rector of the University of Helsinki from 1988 to 1992.

Tommila had an active role in promoting international cooperation in science and research. He was involved in the activities of Villa Lante, the Finnish Institute in Rome, from the very beginning. Tommila also contributed to the activities of the scientific community and foundations, for example as Chair of the Board of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies and the Board of Directors and Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Supervisory Board of the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

In 2004, Tommila received the honorary title of Academician of Science, the highest honour that can be bestowed on any individual scientist in Finland.

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