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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

MC exam questions composed for Department of health studies

Today I have composed exam questions (Multiple Choice) for SVEXPHIL2, i.e. the course Examen Philosophicum for nursing students at University of Stavanger´s Department of health studies.

Kautokeino achievements

These last two days in Kautokeino Paul Thibault and I have conducted three video-recorded interviews. This brings the total so far up to seven (including the pilot study in Kristiansand), and 4-5 hours of recordings.

We have also stopped by at The International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry, the reindeer department (Reindriftsavdelingen) at Fylkesmannen i Finnmark, Kautokeino, and the Sami college and reindeer school. We have been based at the Sami university college, Sámi Allaskuvla (in the science building, Diehtosiida in Sami), with the help of its research coordinator Ville Söderbaum.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Interview on Guovdageainnu Lagasradio

Today I appeared on Guovdageainnu Lagasradio [Kautokeino radio, a Sami and Norwegian language local radio] to tell about our ongoing research interviews in Kautokeino, and our search for informants.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Full reference for agency review

Here´s the reference for my agency review article:
Morten Tønnessen 2015. The Biosemiotic Glossary Project: Agent, agency. Biosemiotics 8(1): 125-143. Published online January 21st 2015 (doi: 10.1007/s12304-015-9229-0), with Appendix (Supplementary Material available online).

Full reference for editorial "Towards synthesis of biology and semiotics"

Here´s the reference for the first editorial I´ve co-authored:
Alexei Sharov, Timo Maran and Morten Tønnessen 2015. Towards Synthesis of Biology and Semiotics. Editorial. Biosemiotics 8(1): 1–7. Published online April 4th 2015 (DOI: 10.1007/s12304-015-9239-y).

Biosemiotics 8(1) published - two articles freely available online

Biosemiotics volume 8, issue 1 has now been published, according to alerts from the publisher, Springer. This is the second issue Alexei Sharov, Timo Maran and I have edited (which means I have been involved in decision-making and editing of all articles).

Towards Synthesis of Biology and Semiotics
Alexei Sharov, Timo Maran, Morten Tønnessen Pages 1-7 
Do They Speak Language?
Lucie Čadková Pages 9-27 
Language Evolution: Why Hockett’s Design Features are a Non-Starter
Sławomir Wacewicz, Przemysław Żywiczyński Pages 29-46 
Why Language Evolution Needs Memory: Systems and Ecological Approaches
Anton V. Sukhoverkhov, Carol A. Fowler Pages 47-65 
Hominin Language Development: A New Method of Archaeological Assessment
James Cole Pages 67-90 
Evolution of signs, organisms and artifacts as phases of concrete generalization
Eliseo Fernández Pages 91-102 
Protosemiosis: Agency with Reduced Representation Capacity
Alexei A. Sharov, Tommi Vehkavaara Pages 103-123 
The Biosemiotic Glossary Project: Agent, Agency
Morten Tønnessen Pages 125-143 
Book review
Thinking Merleau-Ponty Forward / Review of Louise Westling (2014). The Logos of the Living World: Merleau-Ponty, Animals, and Language
W. John Coletta Pages 145-151

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Call for contributions - more-than-human rhetorics?

I have shared a call for contributions on the Biosemiosis blog, "Rhetorical Animals: Boundaries of the Human in the Study of Persuasion" (book volume, eds. Alex Parrish and Kristian Bjørkdahl).

Visiting Lisbon zoo

Today I have visited Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa - the Lisbon zoo - with my son and wife. Most of the animals clearly have too little living space - for instance, the large mammals do not have proper space for running.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Two papers accepted for presentation at "Animals in the Anthropocene" conference

A week ago I was formally informed that two abstracts I am co-author of have been accepted as basis for oral presentation at the September 17-19 University of Stavanger conference "Animals in the Anthropocene: Human-animal relations in a changing semiosphere". The two abstracts, both of which are co-authored with Paul Thibault, are titled "Proto-language in wolves" and "Human Perceptions of Wolves and other Animals in Contemporary Norway" respectively.

I am the chair of the Local organising committee of the conference and have been coordinating the work of the Scientific advisory committee, but have of course not taken part in the evaluation of these two abstracts.

Abstract evaluation and suggestions for NASS IX

This weekend I have evaluated abstracts for the upcoming 9th conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS), alias the 2015 Tartu Summer School in Semiotics - see conference page - as a member of the conference´s abstract evaluation committee. I have formally evaluated 21 abstracts and given optional input concerning the placements in sessions of some more.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Letter to the editor on green growth

Yesterday I had a letter to the editor published in the regional Norwegian daily Fædrelandsvennen, "Spørsmål til Venstre om vekst" [Questions to Social Liberal Party on growth], where I refer to my academic article "The statistician´s guide to Utopia: The future of growth".

Friday, 17 April 2015

2014: 3rd most-publishing scholar at Faculty of social science

Today University of Stavanger has published data on publication points (see previous posts) acquired in 2014. With my 3,2 points, I was the 3rd most-publishing scholar at the Faculty of social science (which has more than 200 staff - in the top 5, curiously enough only 1 is a professor). With a small margin to several colleagues, I was the one scholar from health or social studies with the most publication points (my points was divided between Department of social studies and Department of health studies, with 1,7 and 1,5 points respectively). These two departments have more than 100 scholars employed combined.

My publication points in 2014 represents 0,64 % (-0,02%) of the total for UiS (499,3), 2,3 % (-0,2%) of the total for Faculty of social science (141,03) - four-five times the average per scholar at UiS (0,71), and five times the average per scholar at Faculty of social science (0,63). While the publication points I allocated to Department of social studies represent 10,6% of their total (16,09), the points allocated to Department of health studies represent 3,2 % of their total (47,44).

See also:

2-day workshop with Peter Dukes attended (PRE-FRIPRO event)

Today and yesterday I have attended the third and final PRE-FRIPRO event at University of Stavanger, organised by the university´s Research and Innovation Department and designed to prepare "Young research talent" applicants for research applications within the Research Council of Norway´s FRIPRO program (independent projects). The last two days the program has consisted in a workshop lead by Peter Dukes and attended by some 20 mostly young (and mostly talented) scholars. Very useful.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Two more evenings off per week

Today I have decided to make some changes with regard to my work week and work time/free time devision. Among other things, I will have two more evenings off per week (Wednesday and Sunday, in addition to Saturday). The aim is to attain a better balance between work and family time (including more housework), now that my wife is pregnant with twins. I should also be offline in my free time (afternoons).

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

7 theme sessions accepted for "Animals in the Anthropocene" conference

The following theme sessions have been accepted (quite some time ago) for the September 17-19 conference "Animals in the Anthropocene: Human-animal relations in a changing semiosphere" (Stavanger, Norway):
  • “Animals mediating the real and the imaginary in the past” (chairs: Siv Kristoffersen & Kristin Armstrong Oma, Museum of Archaeology, University of Stavanger, Norway)
  • "Animal representations in popular culture and new media" (chairs: Kjersti Vik & Lene Bøe, University of Stavanger, Norway)
  • “Animals, semiotics, and Actor-Network-Theory” (chairs: Silver Rattasepp & Timo Maran, University of Tartu, Estonia)
  • “Global species” (chair: Morten Tønnessen, University of Stavanger, Norway)
  • “Humans and other animals, between anthropology and phenomenologies” (chair: Annabelle Dufourcq, Charles University, Czech Republic)
  • “Understanding the meaning of animals“ (chairs: Forrest Clingerman, Ohio Northern University, USA & Martin Drenthen, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands)
  • “Wild animals in the era of humankind” (chair: Morten Tønnessen, University of Stavanger, Norway)
For links to thematic descriptions of each session, see the conference website.

9 Multiple Choice exam papers graded

Last week I graded 9 Multiple Choice exam papers in Examen Philosophicum (course code BSNEXP, in internet-based bachelor in nursing) for University of Stavanger´s Department of health studies.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Explanation of grading written

Last week I wrote an explanation/justification of grading in the course Examen Philosophicum (internet-based bachelor in nursing, course code BSNEXP), extraordinary exam.

PHCC Course description revised

Today I have finished revising the course description of the PHCC (Pre-Hospital Critical Care) master course "Philosophy of Science and Health Care" (course code FXPSH100), which is offered by UiS EVU.

Monday, 13 April 2015

108 abstracts read and evaluated

The last few days I have, as member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, concluded evaluating abstracts submitted to the September 17-19 conference "Animals in the Anthropocene: Human-animal relations in a changing semiosphere", which is to be organised at University of Stavanger. I have read and evaluated all 108 abstracts. Final decisions will be communicated soon.

Exam questions composed for Department of health studies

Today I have composed exam questions for Examen Philosophicum (course code SVEXPHIL2) at University of Stavanger´s Department of health studies (home exam).

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Hans Borge did not get second term as Head of Department of Petroleum Engineering

At the board meeting of University of Stavanger on March 12th, Hans Borge (see previous posts) did not get renewed trust as head of department at Department of Petroleum Engineering. In a chronicle I wrote last November, I addressed Borge´s climate change skepticism/denial and indicated that I think it harms the university´s scientific credibility.

Meeting on PHCC attended

On March 18th I attended a meeting on experiences so far in two courses in the UiS EVU Master in Pre-Hospital Critical Care (see previous posts), in preparation of my own course which starts this autumn, "Philosophy of Science and Health Care Ethics".

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

First Biosemiotics editorial published online - "Towards Synthesis of Biology and Semiotics"

The first editorial by Alexei Sharov, Timo Maran and myself was published online in Biosemiotics on April 4th (full text here). Reference:

— 2015b, with Alexei Sharov and Timo Maran. Towards Synthesis of Biology and Semiotics. Editorial. Biosemiotics 8(1). Published online April 4th 2015 (DOI: 10.1007/s12304-015-9239-y).

Although some scholars consider biosemiotics predominantly as a philosophy, particularly within philosophy of biology/science, we would like to emphasize its scientific and often practical orientation. Biosemiotics can contribute to natural science, applied science and philosophy alike. Our scientific outlook does not mean, however, that we support mechanistic methodology, which currently dominates in physics, chemistry, and even in molecular biology. We believe that traditional approaches in science associated with studies of passive, isolated systems, as in physics and chemistry, should be complemented by a distinctively different study of complex agents such as living organisms and their components, people, human organizations, and technological artifacts. The radically different nature of these complex phenomena requires a substantial shift in scientific methodology. Biosemiotics considers the existence of entities that are not directly accessible for investigation (e.g., meaning, agency, goals, internal representations). It therefore seeks to identify or develop indirect methods that can help to evaluate these entities, and supports systematic approaches for their analysis. These efforts should be based on diverse heuristics, handling of multiple hypotheses, and complementarity of different descriptions as exemplified by the brief overview of papers presented in this issue (see below).

First Biosemiotics editorial finished

In mid-February Alexei Sharov, Timo Maran and myself finished our first editorial as Editors-in-Chief of Biosemiotics. The editorial, entitled "Towards Synthesis of Biology and Semiotics", will appear in print in Biosemiotics 8(1), due in April. 

Monday, 6 April 2015

Invited to attend meeting organised by UiS working group on sustainable energy

Today I have been invited to a meeting to be organised by the University of Stavanger´s working group on renewable/environmentally friendly/sustainable energy, on May 8th. I will take part via telephone. The working group is tasked with suggesting how University of Stavanger can strengthen its research on sustainable energy.

Minding Animals Norway board meeting attended

Today I have attended the board meeting of Minding Animals Norway. Among the topics were establishment of MAN´s first local chapter, which is in process.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Peer-review for Environmental Philosophy

Last year I peer-reviewed a paper for the journal Environmental Philosophy.

Peer review for Sign Systems Studies

Last year I peer-reviewed a paper for Sign Systems Studies.

Peer-review for Establishing Cognitive Semiotics book volume

In March I peer-reviewed a chapter submitted to a book project which is to be published by Peter Lang. The book has the working title Establishing Cognitive Semiotics.

Peer review for Czech Science Foundation

Last year I peer-reviewed a research application for Czech Science Foundation. This was the third peer-review I did for them.

Peer-review for Public Journal of Semiotics

Last year I peer-reviewed a paper for Public Journal of Semiotics.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Stavanger Aftenblad refers to petition (again); focus on petro-power vs. renewable energy

In the news article "Studentopprør mot oljemakt i forskningen" [Student revolt against petro-power in research], published by the Norwegian regional daily Stavanger Aftenblad March 23rd, the journalist, Ingeborg Eliassen, makes reference to last autumn´s petition for restructuring at University of Stavanger, under the subheading "Forskeropprør" [Researcher revolt]. I initiated the petition, which got 23 signatures, along with Oluf Langhelle.

The newspaper highlights the petition´s point 5, which implies that University of Stavanger should "seek new collaborators to build competence on renewable energy and improve chances of external funding on this area".

Summary of book review now online

My book review of Rune Ellefsen´s Med lov til å pine: Om bruk og beskyttelse av dyr (Oslo: Inspirator Forlag/Fritt Forlag), published in Sosiologi i dag 45(1), pp. 98–103 (print version), has now been published online. Full text is available for subscribers only. Online summary here.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Research application plans presented, feedback received at PRE-FRIPRO workshop

On March 18th I presented my research application in process “Umwelt theory for our time” at a PRE-FRIPRO (cf. previous posts) workshop at University of Stavanger. I got feedback from Merete Vadla Madland (the national IOR Centre of Norway), Dag Oppen Berntsen (Research Council of Norway) and others.

Editorial proof-read

Today I have proof-read the Biosemiotics editorial "Towards synthesis of biology and semiotics", co-written with Alexei Sharov and Timo Maran.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

To give lecture on deep ecology in Sandnes April 9th

On Thursday April 9th I will give a lecture on deep ecology ahead of the dance performance (contemporary dance) "Wild Places: Mountain", at Regional Arena for Samtidsdans, Sandnes kulturhus. I will also chair a brief session involving the performers after the show.

MA press release composed and distributed

This night I composed and distributed a press release from Minding Animals Norway, announcing that Bergljot Børresen was given the Minding Animals Norway Award 2015 at Dyreverndagen (the Norwegian Animal Protection Day). Cf. also yesterday´s post.