Download Survey Data Files
Directory of Investigators
Online Data Analysis
Documentation of Data
a memoriam for Thorleif Pettersson
Thorleif Pettersson, member of the Executive Committee of the World Values Survey has passed away after a longer period of illness. He is missed by us all and his impact on the development of the World Values Survey Association can’t be overestimated.
Thorleif was Professor of Sociology of Religion at Uppsala University and devoted his working life to the study of human values and the role these values play in society. He was closely linked to both European and global research programs; the World Values Survey, The European Values Survey and the Uppsala University's "Impact" - programs – The Impact of Religion: Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy. The latter program is in the long term point of view aimed to no more and no less than, to help to create a better world. Thorleif has served in the Executive Committee of the World Values Survey for more than a decade and as such he played a central role in developing the global network of researcher and the association World Values Survey Association (WVSA).
Over the past 25-30 years, Thorleif gave his full attention to the study of value bases in both Europe and in the wider world. Above all, he has been concerned with the relationships between human values and the ongoing socio-cultural changes. What are the impacts on human orientation and the development of our societies, in regard of citizenship, democracy and human rights? His extensive contributions to the World Values Survey has been significant. He has been among the pioneering researchers helping to create the data series, that hundreds, if not thousands, social scientists around the world use on a daily basis. His role as social scientist has in this sense made him almost immortal. Articles and research reports inspired by his work are continuously presented and surely will be for a long time to come.
He was a highly valued friend, always joyful and god hearted. A person that made you happy every time you had the opportunity to meet him. His memory will live long through his many books and articles that gave and gives us constant inspiration for further comparative social science research with a global focus with the aim that, in Thorleifs’ spirit, contribute to tolerance, democracy, peace and understanding between different cultures, countries and people.
Ron Inglehart, USA
President of the World Values Survey Association
Bi Puranen, Sweden
Secretary General of the World Values Survey Association
Dan Brändström, Sweden
Former Director, Riksbankens Jubuileumsfond
In June 2009 colleagues and friends in the values reserach honoured Thorleif Pettersson with a festschrift, “Religion, democratic values and political conflict” (Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Psychologia et Sociologia Religionum 23, uppsala 2009). This book is presented under the section "publications", sub section "books" at this website and can be downloaded for free.
Many friends have sent their condolences to the secretariat, below follows some of them:
I know exactly how we all feel because of our truly great loss. I have lost a great friend, a brother I can say. I really am at a loss for words to express my deep grief. We will all miss Thorleif greatly – his wisdom, his scholarship, his friendship and his sense of humour. Indeed, that sense of humour was intact when I last corresponded with him. May he rest in peace and bless you all.”
Rector of Bahcesehir University, Istanbul, Turkey
Member of the Executive Committe, WVSA
“It is with a deep sense of sorrow that I read the sad news. Thorleif was special to all of us both as a colleague and more importantly as a special human being. I know what it to lose someone close. I lost an only brother less than a month ago. My deepest sympathises to his family. We all pray for the departed soul and will always miss a special friends”
Principal Investigator WVSA , India
Political Science Faculty, Bangalore University, India
“Thorleif has left us. And still, he will remain with us as long as one of those who loved him remains. For 27 years, since some of us first met him, we have interacted at meetings, at workshops, at conferences, through e-mail, through the telephone…., to the point that in spite of distance we had a closer relationship than with friends or colleagues that live in the same town. Thorleif was a great scholar, a great friend, a great group member, and first of all, a man of peace. He always had a word for every body; he was the kind of person who always found a middle-of-the-road position to bring together the extremes, he was a natural bridge builder. We shall certainly miss him, but he will always be with us.”
Juan Diez Nicolas,
Executive Committee, WVSA
Principal Investigator WVSA, Spain
ASEP Madrid, Spain
“I had the privilege to know Thorleif for twelve years. The first time I met him was in Sanga Saby in 1998. Since then I grew constantly closer to him through the regular exchange in the context of the World Values Survey, which owes Thorleif so incredibly much.
Great praise has been given to Thorleif as a scientist. He was indeed a brilliant thinker who had so many creative and innovative ideas. He always found ways to shed new light on our data and was inspired by the most rigorous scientific standards.
Formidable as these qualities of Thorleif are, he left an even deeper mark on me as a person and human being. I will keep Thorleif in my memory as a real humanist and the finest character—he was a ‘beautiful mind.’ May he rest in peace.”
Executive Committee, Vice President, WVSA,
Principal Investigator, Germany
“Distance is a deceiving thing because those of us who saw Thorlief occasionally and learned to see in him a wonderful human being, might think he is still there only far away.
I remember him as a person who was genuinely in search of collective well being. He also played an important role in the development of the WVS as it is today.
For all those reasons and many more which I could write about I would propose we install a place for him in the project. It could be a papers series name for example. this would honour his memory."
Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), WVSA,
Principal Investigator WVSA, Brazil
Latinobarómetro, Santiago, Chile
“This is sad news, indeed. Thorleif will continue to live in our hearts. He
will also be remembered for his contributions to a better understanding of
the role of values in human behavior. I am glad that he received his
Festschrift in time.We have lost a friend.”
Advisor, WVSA, Germany
Wissenschaftszentrum, Berlin, Germany
“He was a kind man. SWS (South Weather Station) will always recall how he took time to communicate with us and how he appreciated the WVS training that we provided Vietnam, even particularly citing the part he liked best - the circle of life exercise!”
Principal Investigator, The Philippines
Philippine Social Science Centre
“I am really sad to hear about Thorleif who is a great man and a dedicated person. We can not hear his joke in the WVS conference anymore. We have to put his name in our heart forever."
Nadra Muhamad Hosen
Principal Investigator, Indonesia
School of Social Sciences, Institute of Quranic Studies, Jakarta, Indonesia
“I feel deeply sorry for this loss. Thorleif always supported our work with enthusiam. He was always available when there was a conflict to solve or a problem to fix. Among all, I think he was a very good person and that is how I will remember him."
Jaime Diez Medrano
Director, JDSurvey and WVSA Data Archive, Madrid
“This is certainly very sad news even when we knew it was expected. I have also enjoyed Thorleiff friendship and the possibility of a closest exchange around our interest and commitment with religious issues and themes. It is a great loss.”
Treasurer, Executive Committee, WVSA
Principal Investigator WVSA, Peru
Departmento de Ciencias Sociales, Lima, Peru
“The news I just received about the loss of Thorleif were a shock to me. We lost a dear friend and researcher who left a valuable wealth of intellectual work and established values and mutual respect with others. May God bless him.”
Magued I. Osman, Ph.D.
Chairman, Information and Decision Support Center, The Egyptian Cabinet,
Principal Investigator, WVS Egypt
“We lost a very good friend and scientist and this fills my heart with great
sorrow. My deepest condolences to Thorleif’s dearest, he’ll be in our hearts."
Principal Investigator, WVSA Russia
“It is very sad news. We lost a friend and a great colleague."
Principal Investigator, WVSA Argentina
Scientific Advisory Board (SAC) of the WVSA
“Thorleif var i mange år den drivende kraften i det nordiske samarbeidet i WVS og EVS og han var en god venn og støtte for meg i mange sammenhenger."
Principal Investigator, WVSA, Norway
University of Trondheim, Norway
- WVS -