Today, Friday February 28, Esbjörn Melin put the symbolic nail through his thesis; Advancing gene therapy for epilepsy – Translational pre-clinical studies with neuropeptide Y and glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor.
From the beginning the primary purpose of nailing was to make the text available to people, giving everyone the opportunity to read it in advance to be able to ask relevant questions at the public defence. This tradition goes back to when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg Castle church in 1517. Now a days the nailing is still a mandatory component of the academia, at least 3 weeks before the defence the thesis has to be electronically nailed and distributed. Printed copies are available for everyone to read but the ceremony of nailing it to the wall (or the floor) at your departement is still a nice excuse to celebrate.