TIK9011 – Science and Technology Studies

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

In 2006 the Organization for Economical Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a first call for designing a policy agenda for the emerging ‘bioeconomy’. The neologism was obviously invented to proclaim and promote the happy match of ‘bios’ (i.e. life, here: life sciences) with ‘the economy’. Since then for policy makers and organizations ‘bioeconomy’ is a term that characterizes an innovation economy based on biotechnologies while social scientists study it as a new form of capitalism.

This PhD course, that is part the ERC project “The Good Economy” (PI Kristin Asdal, https://www.sv.uio.no/tik/english/research/projects/little-tools/index.html) will explore the ‘bio-economy’ from a different angle by historicizing and theorizing its components ‘life’ and ‘economy’, its in-betweens, and their long-standing relations. We will especially investigate the concepts of ‘bios’ (i.e. ‘life’/ ‘the living’), temporalities, and reproduction from a (feminist) technoscience studies angle.

What does ‘life’ stand in for in the ‘bio-economy’: is it a discipline (biology), specific technologies (bio-tech), the realm of the living from cells to tissue, to animals, to humans? Do particular economic structures or systems generate specific life forms? Or does life cultures any form of resistance? In which ways have biotechnologies intervened into the temporalities of living matter for the sake of value-creation? What tools, practices, and infrastructures render economies of reproduction possible? For whose benefit and who might be excluded?

Learning outcome

The course will engage actively with the participants’ own research interests. You are expected to submit a draft paper in advance of the course.


Application deadline 2019: June 15th.

All applicants must be enrolled in a phd program.

Submit a short letter of motivation (max. 500 words) which includes your institutional affiliation, a description of your research interests, and an abstract for your course paper. Applications may be sent to Silje Morsman. Please submit the letter of motivation as an appendix, preferably in .doc/.docx formats.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Applicants must be enrolled in a phd program, and fullfill the minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway.


This is an intensive course with all activities within one week. In December 2019:

Requirements for course participation

  • submit and present a course paper
  • attend the entire course week
  • be main commentator of another paper
  • take active part in discussions

The deadline for submitting course papers is 18 November 2019. Papers should be 5000 words, work in progress, not a finished text. Participants are expected to read all draft papers in addition to the course literature. All papers will be pre-circulated. During the course week, students will present their own paper and be the main commentator of another paper together with one of the lecturers.

The Course Paper

You are expected to submit a draft paper in advance of the course. The paper may be a draft analytical chapter/article from the dissertation, but not the introduction or theory/methods chapter alone. The paper must function as a starting point for discussing your working methods – both how you analyze your empirical material and how you write your own texts.The paper should engage explicitly with methodological issues and show how you analyze your empirical material. During the course, all participants will present their own paper and comment upon each other’s work.


  • Martina Schlünder, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin / professor II at TIK
  • Kristin Asdal, TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo
  • Susanne Bauer, TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo
  • Solveig Jülich, Uppsala University

Course readings and more information will be posted here during the coming weeks. There is no course fee. All lunches, coffee/tea breaks and one joint dinner included. Travel and accommodation must be covered by participants.


Information is forthcoming.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Facts about this course





Teaching language