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Arctic Day 2018

Welcome to the annual Arctic Day at the University of Oslo! The theme of the day is "Arctic Collaborations".

Photo: Åsmund Asdal, Nordgen (UMB)

Theme of the day: Arctic Collaborations

Today’s ominous Arctic challenges have made apparent the need to push significant disciplinary understandings further, to achieve necessary academic innovation. Acknowledging, as also funding bodies now do, that original thinking often is born out interdisciplinary collaborations, this year’s Arctic Day, arranged by the University of Oslo Arctic Committee in collaboration with “Humanioradagene” takes this as its starting point. How can interdisciplinarity take place, and what can be achieved through such collaborations?

Arctic Day speakers present examples of collaborations between disciplines such as physics, conservation science, geography, economics, history, and social anthropology, as well as intersections between indigenous and other knowledge practices.

As Arctic Day speakers will illustrate, multidisciplinary endeavours in the Arctic are not new.  Early scientific explorers also depended upon collaboration. Explorers and scientists relied on locals for transport, housing, and assistance with data collection. Subsequent forms of collaboration among scientists from different nations have enabled large-scale mapping exercises. At times when state interests have strongly influenced the knowledge produced, collaboration has enabled productive interactions despite political tensions.

Presentations on Arctic Day will illustrate how multidisciplinarity including the humanities and social sciences can be more than just a matter of including “the Native Culture Slot”, or contributing reflections on the history of scientific disciplines. Collaboration creates new and innovative sources of knowledge production, they can bring innovation, new futures can emerge, and collaborations can also win prestigious grants. Working together may further provide reflections of to the political nature of knowledge, as well as insights into the ways different disciplines contribute to our understanding of the Arctic.

This Arctic Day presentation features three sessions: The first on Radical Knowledge Production. The second session is on collaboration in ERC. The Third session is an experimental multidisciplinary conversation involving four approaches to the Northern light, including space physics, Kristian Birkeland’s instruments, European approaches to Northern light and the use of Birkeland’s design in new interaction design. Contributors will be Jøran Idar Moen, Ulrike Spring, Thorleif Aas Kristiansen and Andrew D. Morrison.


Please notify us when you sign up if you want to participate in the reception at 17:30. Tapas will be served between 17:30–19:30.

Sign up for Arctic Day


Sandwiches will be served at 11:30.

Radical knowledge production


Culture, politics, and ethics in Arctic collaborative research
Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Institute, Cambridge



What conservation can learn from Women’s work in small Siberian villages

Torunn Klokkernes, Museum of Cultural History, UiO

13:15 Questions
Coffee break 15 minutes

ERC Arctic innovation


Assembling the North- Reinventing Parliament: the controversy over whaling in the late 19th century

Kristin Asdal, TIK Centre for Innovation, Technology and Culture, UiO.
Principal Investigator for ERC grant ”Enacting the good economy: Biocapitalization and the Little Tools of Valuation”.




Collaboration within polar research: a perspective from a Historian

Peder Roberts, Kungliga Tekniska Høgskolan, Stockholm.
Principal Investigator for ERC grant “Greening the Poles: Science, the Environment, and the Creation of the Modern Arctic and Antarctic”.



15:30 Coffee and sandwiches

Multidisciplinary experimental conversation: Four experts consider the Northern Light


Northern Lights and its importance for Safety in the Arctic
Jøran Idar Moen, Department of Physics, UiO

Birkeland’s data collection, the discovery of Aurora as electric and available technology
Thorleif Aas Kristiansen, Museum of University and Science History, UiO

From Nature to Science. Carl Weyprecht and the Standardization of the Aurora
Ulrike Spring, Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History, UiO

Electronic installation art and interaction design investigating ways to think forwards from the work of Birkeland
Andrew D. Morrison, Institute of Design, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design

10 minutes discussion moderated by Andrew D. Morrison

17:30 – 19:30

Tapas and mingling with poster presentations

Co-arranged with APECS Norway (The Association for Polar Early Career Scientists) 

Published Oct. 1, 2018 1:57 PM - Last modified Oct. 29, 2018 5:06 PM