The 8th Norwegian Conference on the History of Science

Oslo, December 1–3, 2021. Registration closed. See program here. See abstracts here.

Bildet kan inneholde: kunst.

It is with excitement and relief that we can now welcome you to the 8th Norwegian conference on the history of science in Oslo December 1–3 2021. The conference was postponed for one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however now we can convene and interact ‘in real life’, almost as we used to. As per custom, the conference aims to bring together scholars working on the history of science, medicine and technology on any theme, topic, or period to discuss historical, epistemological, political, institutional, and ethical issues of relevance to both a Scandinavian and an international audience, welcoming researchers of all nationalities at all stages of their careers. See the program here. 
The conference language is English, although some limited parts of the program may be in Scandinavian.
Since the inception in 2007, the Norwegian conference on the history of science has sought to invite speakers that can provide new directions, and that present new research of interest to our research community. This year we have confirmed the following keynote speakers:

Vidar Enebakk (NESH)

Standing in the shadow of giants. Christopher Hansteen's contribution to the study of terrestrial magnetism between Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Friedrich Gauss. This is a public lecture and will be held in Norwegian. More info here. 

Enebakk's forthcoming book on Christopher Hansteen, Vitenskapsdyrker og polarforsker (Pax forlag), focuses particularly on Hansteen's international contribution to the study of terrestrial magnetism in the first half of the 19th century.
Enebakk has a background in intellectual history, a PhD in science studies, and has specialized in history of science. From 2005 to 2012 he was affiliated with Forum for University History at the University of Oslo where his research on Hansteen was conducted. He has been curator at the Norwegian Museum for Science, Technology and Medicine (NTM) and editor of Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift (NNT), and since 2014 he is director for the National Committee for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences and the Humanities (NESH). He also initiated the first annual conference for history of since in Norway in 2007.

Anna Storm (Linköpings University)

Atomic Fish: Sublime and Non-Sublime Nuclear Nature Imaginaries

Anna Storm is Professor of Technology and Social Change at Linköping University, Sweden. She holds a PhD in the History of Technology from KTH Royal Institute of Technology and is Docent (Associate Professor) in Human Geography from Stockholm University. Her research interests center on industrial and post-industrial landscapes and their transformation, comprising both cultural and ‘natural’ environments, in physical and imaginary sense. Such landscapes challenge the way we understand ecology, aesthetics, memory and heritage, and trigger concerns about power relations. Currently, she leads several multidisciplinary research projects exploring aspects of nuclear energy history and heritage in a north European context, including not only mundane practices related to atomic fish but also questions of information transfer to future generations about radioactive waste, and processes of decommissioning and human abandonment of contaminated territories.

Jon Røyne Kyllingstad (University of Oslo)

Historicizing intelligence: Tests, metrics and the shaping of contemporary society

Kyllingstad leads the RCN-funded project Historicizing intelligence, which deals with the history of IQ-testing and the emergence of intelligence as an object of scientific inquiry in Norway. Intelligence as measured by IQ-tests is not merely a scientific concept. It is also a diagnostic tool, a bureaucratic device, a legal concept, a popular-cultural notion and more. Kyllingstad will discuss how and why a historical study can shed light on the multiple ways in which intelligence is entangled in science and society. Kyllingstad is a historian and works with the history of science and academic institutions in the period from about 1870 to 2000. He works at the Museum of University and Science History which is a section of the Museum of Cultural History (UiO). 

The conference opens on Wednesday afternoon, December 1, with Vidar Enebakk’s public talk. The conference lasts until the early evening of Friday December 3. A conference dinner will be held on Thursday evening.

Our aim is to not charge a conference fee. We have already received funding that will partially cover our expenses, but please note that we may have to charge a fee in case we are unable to obtain further funding. More information and updates about registration will be available at the conference web page.

The conference is arranged in cooperation with the local host, Museum of University History at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo. Forum for Vitenskapsteori/The Science Studies Colloquium Series at the University of Oslo has kindly supported the conference with funding.

Registration closed.



Register by using our online form

Program and venues 

Go to program

Important dates

  • September 20: Deadline for papers and sessions submission
  • September 24: Notification of acceptance
  • November 23: Registration deadline for all participants
  • The program will be issued October 15.

About The Norwegian Conferences on the History of Science

The first Norwegian Conference on the History of Science was organized in Oslo in 2007 with the aim of establishing a national network for historians of science.

The inaugural meeting proved a success and set the basis for stimulating discussions among the wider academic community, which includes scholars working on the history of technology and medicine. The following conferences in Tromsø, Trondheim, Oslo, and Bergen have further expanded its scope to forge a forum for both national and international exchange of ideas and collaboration.

Who are we?

The conference is organized by the Program Committee for of the Norwegian Conferences on the History of Science and will be hosted by Museum of Cultural History by its department Museum of University History, University of Oslo. The conference has received funding from the Science Studies Colloquium at the University of Oslo.