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Friday, 23 June 2017

"Umwelt theory revisited" presentation at NASS X scheduled for June 30th

My presentation "Umwelt theory revisited - contemporary Uexküllian thought in 10 points" has been scheduled for presentation at the 10th conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (Kaunas, Lithuania June 26th to 30th) on Friday June 29th at 9.00-9.30.

Uexküllian phenomenology presentation scheduled for June 29th

My presentation "Uexküllian phenomenology" has been scheduled for presentation at the 13th World Congress of Semiotics (Kaunas, Lithuania June 26th to 30th), in the session "Biosemiotics in dialogue", on Thursday June 29th at 9.00-9.30.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

To take part in two panels at MAC4, Mexico City

I will take part in a panel on "Animals and philosophy", and another on "Animals, history and ethology" during Minding Animals Conference 4, which is to be held in Mexico City January 17-24th 2018.

EMP151 field work summary composed and distributed

I have earlier this Spring composed a 7 pp. popular science summary of field work conducted in Norway Spring 2015 as part of the research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis". Today I distributed it via email to interviewees. The video-recorded interviews were about wolves and related animals.

Four bachelor theses graded

I have finished grading four bachelor theses in social work, as the internal examiner.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Record-high Impact Factor for Biosemiotics

The Impact Factor for Biosemiotics for 2016 has been released - a record high 0.964.

Panel participation at MAC4?

I have signalled interest in taking part in three panels at Minding Animals Conference 4, to take place in Mexico City next January, particularly "Ecophilosophy".

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Working lunch

Today I attended a working lunch with some of the teachers in "Welfare state and welfare policy" where we evaluated this Spring´s course.

"Wolf land" cited in Hiedenpää & Pellikka

My article

Tønnessen, Morten 2010. Wolf Land. Biosemiotics 3.3: 289–297 (online version, published April 23, 2010: DOI: 10.1007/s12304-010-9077-x).
is cited in

Hiedanpää, Juha & Jani Pellikka 2017. Preadaptative Transactions and Institutional Change: Wolf-critical activism in southwestern Finland [2010e]. Environmental Policy and Governance 27: 270-281. DOI: 10.1002/eet.1754.
Excerpt (p. 277):
A marriage and a one dollar note are typical examples that Searle uses to illustrate a status function. The wolf-critical civil society has actively claimed that the wolf should not have such a position, since it lacks some essential biological properties and definitely lacks the collective and institutional properties that would constitute its status function. The wolfs status must not be symbolized (for wolf semiotics, see Tønnessen, 2010). Instead, the wolf must be considered according to its actual physical and mental effects and not according to some agreed upon abstract properties, e.g. it being endangered, since there are tens of thousands of wolves in Russia.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Proposed by Ministry as member of the Norwegian Council of Animal Ethics

I have been proposed by Norway´s Ministry of agriculture and food as member of the Norwegian Council of Animal Ethics (Rådet for dyreetikk), as representative for animal protection organisations, specifically Dyrevernalliansen and Dyrebeskyttelsen, for the rest of the period 2016-2018. I have confirmed my willingness to be appointed, and the animal protection NGOs have confirmed their support of the prospective appointment.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Session chaired at NoSP2017

Today I have chaired the session 2D "Perspectives on the body: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Jonas, Merleau-Ponty" at the 15th Annual Conference of the Nordic Society for Phenomenology (NoSP), held at NTNU, Trondheim, Norway. The session included papers by Sigurd Hverven, Alexandru Bejinariu, Ullrich M. Haase and Solveig Bøe.

Paper presented at NoSP2017, NTNU

Today I have presented my paper "The Search Image as Link Between Sensation, Perception and Action" at the 15th Annual Conference of the Nordic Society for Phenomenology (NoSP), held at NTNU, Trondheim, Norway. My presentation was part of the session 3B "Phenomenology and Cognitive Science", chaired by Tarjei Mandt Larsen. Some 10-15 people were present.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Student evaluation - results

I have earlier composed questions for student evaluation of the course "Welfare state and welfare policy", and today I received the results, which I have shared with other teachers in the course. Most feedback was mildly positive, though there were also some critical remarks.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

10th newsletter of NASS finished; call for GA in Kaunas

I have just taken part in finishing the 10th newsletter of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies, along with Inesa Sahakyan. The issue includes a call for the NASS general assembly, to take place June 30th in Kaunas, Lithuania.

EU forum

Today I have attended the first EU forum meeting, held by the research department of University of Stavanger.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

In committee preparing research seminar in Havanna

I am part of a small committee at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies that is preparing a research seminar at Universidade de Havanna, Cuba, to take place late January 2018, with welfare research as theme and organized in cooperation with international collaborators.

Two meetings

Today I have attended two meetings, one on organization of the 2017 Norwegian Animal Ethics conference (via Skype and phone), the other one on a forthcoming guest-lecture at University of Stavanger that I am co-organising.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

NASS: Possibly running for president; UiS candidate venue for NASS XI

I have just signalled interest, to the board, in being nominated as President of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS) ahead of its General Assembly in late June in Kaunas during NASS X, and launched the University of Stavanger as a possible venue for NASS XI in 2019.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Work group meetings in Macedonia

Today I have attended parts of the work group meetings of GroupHouseNet in Skopje, Macedonia. Soon the meeting will be closing.

Minutes on tail biting written

I have just written minutes for the group work yesterday, for one of the three groups at the GroupHouseNet stakeholder workshop in Skopje, Macedonia, focused on avoiding tail docking and reducing tail biting in pigs (3pp).


I have just voted in the election at University of Stavanger of scientific staff members of the board of the new Faculty of Social Science.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Secretary for GroupHouseNet stakeholder group work

Today I have acted as secretary for one of the three groups at the GroupHouseNet stakeholder workshop in Skopje, Macedonia. Our topic was how to avoid tail docking and tail biting in pigs.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017


I have arrived in Skopje, Macedonia. And attended an informal dinner with some of the participants at the stakeholder workshop that will take place tomorrow. A lovely atmosphere.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Thinking... book available on Hawaii

Our book Thinking about animals in the age of the Anthropocene is now available at the Hawaii State Public Library System.

Visa for Turkey

I have just applied for, and received a visa for Turkey, in connection with my participation at a GroupHouseNet COST event over two days this week in Skopje, Macedonia. I will be returning to Norway via Istanbul, with a night there.

Pictures from På Kanten, the Norwegian philosophy festival

These are pictures from På Kanten, the Norwegian philosophy festival, late May.

From the improvisation "philosophy sport".

From my conversation with fellow philosopher Ole Martin Moen on the suffering of wild animals. According to the organizers, this was the one event that engaged the audience the most.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Compulsory readings reported

I have just reported compulsory readings in the three courses I am responsible for this autumn to our academic book store.

Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference to be held November 21st

Today I have attended a meeting at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute in Oslo, in preparation of the Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference 2017. The conference will take place November 21st, with a wolf theme.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Special issue on biosemiotic ethics - online presentation, email mention

Our special issue of Zeitschrift für Semiotik on biosemiotic ethics is given mention in the holiday greetings email of the publisher, Staufenburg Verlag, with the Table of contents reiterated etc.

Mit dem Themenbereich Biosemiotische Ethik / Biosemiotic Ethics beschäftigt sich das neu erschienene Heft der Zeitschrift für Semiotik. Die zahlreichen – zum ersten Mal in der Geschichte der Zeitschrift deutsch- und englischsprachigen – Beiträge geben einen ausführlichen Einblick in den aktuellen Stand des Forschungsfeldes.

Philosophy business not profitable in 2016

Yesterday I compiled the financial report for my business company "Spør filosofen" (Ask the philosopher). Partly due to technicalities, 2016 did not end up with any profits, since a couple of tasks carried out were paid as ordinary salary rather than to my company. Revenues remain low.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Top 0,5% in

According to I am currently in the top 0,5% of researchers there, measured in views, with some 246 unique visitors, 20 profile views and 381 document views the last 30 days. My profile page is here.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Research meeting

Today I attended a small meeting with two colleagues in preparation of a forum arranged by the UiS research department, on EU projects.

To chair session at NoSP 2017

I have agreed to chair the session "Perspectives on the Body: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Jonas, Merleau-Ponty" (2D) at the 11th conference of the Nordic Society for Phenomenology (NTNU, June 15-17), which takes place June 16th.

Friday, 26 May 2017

To discuss animal suffering at phiolosophy festival

I have agreed to appear in the philosophy festival "På kanten" [On the edge] in Kragerø May 26th in conversation with philosopher Ole Martin Moen (University of Oslo). The topic for discussion is "Ville dyrs lidelser" [The suffering of wild animals].

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Biosemiotics 10(1) published; humanities manifesto reference

Biosemiotics volume 10, issue 1 has now been published. Online issue here. Among other texts it features "How can the study of the humanities inform the study of Biosemiotics?", co-authored by me.

Don Favareau, Kalevi Kull, Gerald Ostdiek, Timo Maran, Louise Westling, Paul Cobley, Frederik Stjernfelt, Myrdene Anderson, Morten Tønnessen and Wendy Wheeler 2017. How can the study of the humanities inform the study of biosemiotics? Biosemiotics 10(1): 9–31. DOI: 10.1007/s12304-017-9287-6 (published online April 8th 2017).

Monday, 22 May 2017

Farina et al. featured in Springer campaign "Save the world"

An article published  by Biosemiotics, of which I am a Co-Editor-in-Chief, "The application of the acoustic complexity indices (ACI) to ecoacoustic event detection and identification (EEDI) modeling", is featured in a Springer campaign centered on articles that can "Change the world" (it was nominated by us editors). 

See campaign page here and the article by Almo Farina et al. here.
In order to protect biological diversity, we need to recognize it and map it properly. This article impressively demonstrates how to map acoustic diversity.

Part of technologies of government network application

I have agreed to be part of an application to establish a Norwegian research network on contested technologies of government in biodiversity management, initiated by NTNU.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Meeting to prepare time schedule for MEE140

Today I have attended a meeting at University of Stavanger with the time scheduling unit to book times and rooms for teaching in the course "Philosophy of science and research methods" this autumn, which has been ascribed the course code MEE140.

Meeting with deputy mayor of Stavanger

Today I attended and facilitated a meeting between Erasmus Mundus students in the "Welfare state and welfare policy" course and the deputy mayor of Stavanger at Stavanger City Hall. This was our last appointment in field work this month.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Interviewed by NRK P2 about the art of walking

Today I was interviewed by NRK P2´s Jostein Gjertsen for Verdibørsen, on Thoreau and the art of walking.

One and a half meeting at Stavanger City Hall

Today I attended one and a half more meetings with Erasmus Mundus "Welfare state and welfare policy" students and Stavanger politicians at Stavanger City Hall.

Monday, 15 May 2017

3 more hours at Stavanger City Hall

Today I have attended three hour-long meetings with the students of "Welfare state and welfare policy" and Stavanger politicians and a director at Stavanger City Hall.

Exam questions

Today I have composed exam questions for the continuation school exam in Welfare state and welfare policy.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Tuastad and Tønnessen chapter revised

Today I have finished revising, again, the book chapter by Svein Tuastad and myself on Norwegian family policies seen in light of liberal political philosophy. The chapter will now be submitted to the publisher.

Goldstein chapter presented in Paris

Yesterday I presented my paper "From Goldstein, The Organism" at the phenomenology workshop organized by Ståle Finke (NTNU) that have been attending in Paris yesterday and today. I mainly presented chapter 8. The workshop took place at Centre Universitaire de Norvège à Paris (CUNP) at Fondation Maison des Sciences de l´Hommes.

IMKS course approved by dean

I have been notified that the course description for "Philosophy of science and research methods" has been approved by the dean of the Faculty of social sciences, Gro Ellen Mathisen.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Erasmus MUNDUS students at Stavanger City Hall

Today, along with a colleague from Department of social studies, I have accompanied students in the "Welfare state and welfare policy" class at a meeting at Stavanger City Hall. Several such meetings with politicians and policy-makers are to take place over the next couple of weeks.

Monday, 8 May 2017

3 hours of teaching

Today I taught for 3 hours - 2 hours lecture and 1 hour teacher-assisted group work - in Welfare state and welfare policy (MEM110). This was the introduction to our field visit at Stavanger municipality this week, including an introduction to the Norwegian political system.

Program for NoSP 2017 online

Here´s the program for the 2017 annual conference of the Nordic Society for Phenomenology (NTNU, Trondheim, Norway June 15-17th), "Phenomenology and the body - contemporary perspectives".

See also:

Friday, 5 May 2017

Search image paper scheduled for presentation at NoSP 2017 on June 16th

My paper «The Search Image as Link Between Sensation, Perception and Action» has been scheduled for presentation at the 2017 annual conference of the Nordic Society for Phenomenology (NTNU, Trondheim, Norway June 15-17th) on Saturday June 16th at 14.45-14.45 in the session "Phenomenology and cognitive science", chaired by Tarjei Mandt Larsen.

Performance appraisal

Today it was time for the annual performance appraisal meeting with my head of department. I have had a draft working plan for the next academic year for some time already, but some minor adjustments might be made before the summer.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Scheduled to present in Paris May 11th

I have been scheduled to present on May the 11th at 16.00 to 17.15 during the research seminar "Merleau-Ponty og gestaltpsykologien" [Merleau-Ponty and the gestalt psychology], organised by Ståle Finke (NTNU) and to be held at Centre Universitaire de Norvège à Paris (CUNP). My presentation will be of a chapter  in Kurt Goldstein´s The organism.

See also:

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Skopje approaching

I have now formally been invited to stakeholder meeting and work group meeting to take place in Skopje, Macedonia, on June 7th to 8th, and accepted. I have also arranged the flight - and contributed to the making of the draft programme.

School exam questions in MEM110

I recently composed and selected school exam questions for the course "Welfare state and welfare policy".

Staff meeting, quiz

Today I attended the staff meeting at Department of social studies. We ate, and we talked some, then finally we had a quiz.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Course description revised

Following a meeting at Department of Media, Culture and Social Science that I have already mentioned, at the end of last week I revised the course description for the IMKS course work-titled "Philosophy of science and research methods".

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Meeting at IMKS regarding course description revision

This Thursday I attended a meeting at Department of Media, Culture and Social Science regarding revision of the course description for the philosophy of science and research methods course that I will be responsible for starting this autumn.

Examiner guidelines revised

This week I revised/corrected the examiner guidelines for "Welfare state and welfare policy"´s home exam (essay).

3 hours of teaching

Last Thursday I taught for 3 hours - summary and exam preparation in "Welfare state and welfare policy".

Wednesday, 26 April 2017


Today I have supervised a fourth student, time 4. Done.

Teaching - welfare state

Today I have taught for one hour, and attended one more hour of teaching, in "Welfare state and welfare policy". Second article by Bo Rothstein...

Tuesday, 25 April 2017


Today I have completed three fourth-round supervisions. One remaining, another prolonged.

Monday, 24 April 2017

One more peer-review

This winter I have done a peer-review for Biosemiotics.


This Spring I have done another peer-review for Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Popular scientific summary of field work prepared

The last week or so I have prepared a 7 page PDF document with text, images and links that sums up field work on people´s perception of wolves and related animals carried out at various locations in Norway in Spring 2015 as part of the project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis", specifically the subproject "Representations (both Problematic and Romanticizing) of Large Mammals, especially Wolves". The document will be distributed and made publicly available shortly.

Dissemination article published by in 2016

The research dissemination article "Researchers: Facts alone are not enough in the debate about wolves", by Benedicte Pentz, appeared on on May 7th 2016. The article features an interview with me on field work carried out in Spring 2015. Similar articles have appeared on, and

Friday, 21 April 2017

No grading of Ex.Phil. papers for Department of health studies

I have gotten to know that I will not get to examine any papers in Ex.Phil. for nursing students at Department of health studies this year, since I would be 50% more expensive than alternatives. I have been involved in grading exam papers for them since 2009 (2009-2016).

Feedback provided on application draft

Today I have provided feedback on a PhD application for a colleague at my department.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Google Scholar: 195 citations

In Google Scholar I am now listed with 195 citations (+29 since January 19th count). 2016 publications now stand with a record-high 55 citations (+8 since January), 2017 publications for now with 16 citations (+12). My h-index remains 7 and my i10-index 5.