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Mikko Myllykoski

Mikko Markus Myllykoski
Born December 25, 1963, Vammala

Bachelor of arts 1993, Master of Arts 1998 (general history), University of Helsinki
Doctoral student of art history 2012–, University of Helsinki

Experience Director 2002–, Heureka Science Centre
Head of design 1999–2002, senior designer 1994–99 and designer 1990–94, Heureka Science Centre
University of Helsinki history project research assistant 1990

President of the Finnish Association of Science Editors and Journalists (FASEJ) 2015–
President of the Società Dante Alighieri (comitato di Helsinki) 2008–12
President of the Finnish Inter Press Service 1994–2000

Research themes:
Travel-literature themed Master’s thesis on Mrs Alec Tweedie’s 1896 Finnish travelogue
Doctoral dissertation (in progress) on the exhibition Dialogue in the Dark as a radical social innovator

State Award for Public Information for the exhibition Nordic Explorers 1997 (together with Jouko Koskinen)

Recognition for Heureka Science Centre exhibitions:
Employer of the month award from the Ministry of Labour for recruiting 45 visually-impaired guides for the exhibition Dialogue in the Dark

Association of Finnish Aviation Journalists Follow Me award for the exhibition Flight! 2003

Association of Science and Technology Centers’ Roy L.Shafer Leading Edge Award for Visitor Experience for the exhibition Heureka Goes Crazy 2014

Photo: Pinja Myllykoski
Written by
Mikko Myllykoski (Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

Student life

What enticed me to study history was my experience of the five history teachers I had at grammar school, each of them inspiring in their own way. The first one was a Marxist, the second a dyed-in-the-wool patriot, the third emphatically unassuming and the fourth taught passionately, with her whole body – the fifth lectured in a kind of university style. What they all shared was an unashamed love of their subject. And since my Latin teacher was as inspiring as all the above mentioned put together, I also added Latin and Roman literature to my curriculum.

Presentation in the ruins of a temple of Zeus. Kronos in Greece, Athens 1985. Photo: Päivi Vauhkonen.

Naturally, at the University I came across a much broader range of personalities, and not all of could to display imbue their students with a burning passion, at least not in a lecture setting. “You could hold a whole course on this subject,” quipped a lecturer whose couldn’t even make the topic stretch to a whole lecture but started late and finished early. Fortunately, there were some clear exceptions who demonstrated that lectures were more than merely an inefficient method of transferring information from the lecturer’s notes to the students’ notes. After all these decades, I still remember with gratitude insights and details from lectures on the history of Finnish peasants or Islam – not to mention an exegesis of Trimalchio’s dinner.

Olympic games 1985. Field trip of Kronos, the history students' association, to Greece.

From the very first year, student life was more than just lectures and exams. At Kronos, the association of history students, we held not only parties to mark the seasons, but also ambitious educational events, such as a seminar on the relationship between cinema and history. We wrote and solicited articles, edited, and printed a periodical, Kronikka (‘The Chronicle’), and even produced a 40th anniversary special (1985) for which we interviewed quite a number of Kronos alumni. At our parties, our amateur theatre group, Wapaa Näyttämö (‘Free Theatre’), put on shows where a surfeit of enthusiasm made up for the lack of other prerequisites. I still remember a visiting American professor wiping his profusely sweating bald pate when our Christmas party play Gioco del Matto sotto la Croce, by Dario Fo, reached the point where we nailed our protagonist to a tree. We came up with many things, some of which might have been better left undone – such as the beer bottle relay race we “upgraded” to vodka, with a final bottle of vodka as the prize for the winning team.

Behind the camera in Mycenae. Kronos in Greece 1985. Photo: Päivi Vauhkonen

Music was important to Kronos parties: we usually had song performances and occasionally a live band. I missed Rauli Badding Somerjoki playing Kronos, but in 1985, the year I was president, I helped organise for our January party the very first gig of Freud Marx Engels & Jung, and for our 40th anniversary party in May we got Lapinlahden linnut, then just about to release their first album. It was our tradition to end each party with the Saaremaa Waltz sung by Georg Ots, usually played from a record, occasionally from a cassette.

Georg Ots singing the Saaremaa Waltz in Finnish


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