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Monday, 15 October 2018

6 hours of teaching

I am about to finish 6 hours straight of Ex.Phil. teaching - for the fourth Monday this autumn. The topic for today´s lecture (followed by two seminars) was normative ethics.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Tartu keynote om Umwelt theory/human ecology scheduled for November 9th

My keynote speech at the conference “Semiotics of hybrid natures: Anthropogenic ecosystems, multimodalities, transformed umwelts” (Tartu, Estonia November 8-10th 2018), "Current Human Ecology in Light of Umwelt Theory", has been scheduled for presentation Friday November 9th at 12.30-14.00.

Interview on colonization of Mars aired again

An interview with Ingvil Hellstrand and myself aired this Spring titled "Muligheten av Mars" (The opportunity of Mars). It was aired again, in a new program setting, yesterday, now titled "Er Mars menneskets siste mulighet?" (Is Mars humanity´s last chance?). Jostein Gjertsen was program host at both occasions. Altogether this is the third time the interview aired, since it was aired a second time in Spring as part of the program´s weekend summary.

See also:

Recordings for Verdibørsen segments on gene bank and fish farming

Today I have been in NRK Rogaland´s radio studio taking part in a discussion about the establishment of a new gene bank for wild salmon, and fish farming sector´s responsibility for animal welfare and the environment, with program host Karen Frivik, Øyvind Håbrekke (the think tank Skaperkraft) and Lisa Bergan (corporate affairs director in Cermaq, one of the world´s biggest producers of farmed salmon).

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Autumn´s seventh writing day

Today I had this autumn´s seventh writing day, writing some 1.400 words, most of which for the Biosemiotics editorial "Phenomenology and biosemiotics", but also some for "Human development, inequality and social risks in Latin America and the Nordic countries" and, marginally, "Wasted growth - Case study: The American nightmare". I had some 6-7 hours.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Writing trip to Copenhagen planned

I have made plans for a writing trip to Copenhagen December 20-23rd. I will likely focus on revising "The epistemology of biosemiotics".

Facebook event for Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference 2018

Here´s the Facebook event for Dyreetikkonferansen 2018, "Hvor like er mennesker og dyr?" (the Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference 2018, "How similar are humans and animals?"). For the seventh year, I am one of the organizers, now representing both Council for animal ethics and Minding Animals Norway.

Contemplating research leave application next year

I am contemplating applying, next autumn, for research leave at University of Stavanger for 12 months Autumn 2020 - Spring 2021, probably to write my long planned monograph Being and Sign.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Attended annual meeting of National academic council for philosophy and history of ideas

Yesterday I attended, for the first time, Norway´s National academic council for philosophy and history of ideas (Nasjonalt fagråd for filosofi og idéhistorie), as University of Stavanger´s representative. The meeting took place in Kristiansand, at University of Agder. Something like 7-8 institutions all over Norway were represented. This meeting happens only once a year, and is responsible for proposing classification of journals and publishing houses at level 1 and 2 in the Norwegian publication point system, among other things.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Field work summary on wolves soon online

Today I have entered University of Stavanger´s web publishing tool, CorePublish, for the first time for a couple of years or so, and uploaded a popular science summary of field work (in Norwegian) carried out as part of the research project "Animals in changing environments" (to Norwegian-version website only), specifically as part of the subproject "Representations (both Problematic and Romanticizing) of Large Mammals, especially Wolves".

See also:

Done with MPH130

I have informed relevant colleagues that I will not be involved in another round with the Master course "Philosophy of science and health care ethics", offered by Faculty of health sciences and part of the Master in Pre-Hospital Critical Care.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Autumn´s sixth writing day

Today I had this autumn´s sixth writing day so far, with 7 hours devoted to focused academic writing. I added to the Biosemiotics editorial "Phenomenology and biosemiotics" and my article "Human development, inequality and social risks in Latin-America and the Nordic countries", and marginally to "Wasted growth: Case study - the American nightmare". Altogether I wrote some 1.700 words of text.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Revised abstract for "Semiotics of hybrid natures" keynote

Below is my revised abstract for the forthcoming conference "Semiotics of hybrid natures: Anthropogenic ecosystems, multi modalities, transformed umwelten" (Tartu November 8-10th), where I will give a keynote lecture.


Current human ecology in light of Umwelt theory

Morten Tønnessen
Associate professor of philosophy, University of Stavanger

Umwelt theory is an expression of von Uexküll´s subjective biologyand as such it is usually applied in analysis of individual animals. However, Umwelt theory is fundamentally relational, and therefore also suitable for analysis of more complex wholes. Furthermore, depending on the level of generalization, Umwelt theory is also suitable for analysis of behavioral and experiential dynamics at a group level. A significant methodological advantage of Umwelt theory is that it is applicable with regard to both human and non-human experience and action within one of the same framework.
In our age, which many have come to call «the Anthropocene», the human species dominates many ecosystems, and has established a manifold of tightly controlled production systems and resource streams involving or affecting living creatures in both in-door and outdoor environments. In the Anthropocene discourse, the debate rages as to what level of human control is appropriate. 
Big picture-notions and planetary perspectives are important, but so is the subjective animal perspective that von Uexküll emphasized. To what extent can these be combined? In this presentation, I will explore to what extent ecosemiotics can be applied in analysis of global human ecology. I will do this by portraying the human species as a global speciesthat gives rise to multiple ecologies built around our presence. I will further discuss climate change in its relation to changing patterns of biodiversity and animal behavior.
One can hardly overestimate the effect the human species has even on wildlife, both wittingly and unwittingly. Towards many species, we behave like an unsustainable super-predator, and we reserve a lot of land for our affiliated species. We furthermore affect the experience and behaviour of animals by causing environmental changes in land, water and air, by influencing prey densities and the occurrence of natural enemies, etc.
In the course of this presentation, I will apply notions such as Umwelt transitionUmwelt trajectoryUmwelt aggregate, andUmwelt alignment, in an attempt to outline some of the most important characteristics of contemporary human ecology. To understand our changing relations to living beings and nature, we must be aware of the different forms relations can take on e.g. for wild, liminal and domesticated animals.
To avoid getting lost in the semiosphere, I will anchor some of my analysis in a case study of human–animal relations in Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve in the Central Amazonas. This is a seasonal floodplain forest area surrounded by rivers in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. I will investigate human–human and human–animal interaction in the reserve, with a main focus on indigenous communities and their relations to two primate species, namely the red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus) and the black-headed squirrel monkey (Saimiri vanzolinii).

Morten Tønnessen (born 1976) is Associate professor of philosophy at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies. He has worked with Umwelt theory since his Master degree (University of Oslo 2002), and conducted his doctoral studies at University of Tartu (2011). Tønnessen has published extensively within biosemiotics and human-animal studies, and is currently President of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies and Main Editor-in-Chief of Biosemiotics. Academic (b)log:

Professor promotion committee established

I have been informed that the committee that will consider my application for promotion to professor of philosophy has now formally been appointed. Their recommendation is due January 3rd 2019.

Office tidying

I am tidying at my office at University of Stavanger. A little by little (each week).

Advisory meeting on ERC application

Today I have attended a Skype meeting involving an advisor from the Research Council of Norway (plus two advisors from University of Stavanger) where I was advised on CV, track record and application writing in relation to my forthcoming ERC Consolidator Grant application, due in February.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Ulvetider featured as main book in book club Villmarksliv; featured on front page

Our book Ulvetider was featured as main book in the book club Villmarksliv this last winter. It features prominently in the book club magazine no. 2, 2018 (front page below).

References featured in Zeitschrift für Semiotik stylesheet

The English language stylesheet of Zeitschrift for Semiotik features two references to my research, based as examples.

Excerpt - example of block citation (pt. 3.7):
While there is no consensus on the terms agent and agency, most biosemioticians appear to agree that core attributes of an agent include goal- directedness, self-governed activity, processing of semiosis and choice of action (Tønnessen 2015: 139140).
Excerpt - example of translated journal article (p.t. 5.2):
Uexküll, Jakob von (1917). Darwin und die englische Moral. Deutsche Rundschau 173, 215–242. English translation by Morten Tønnessen as: Uexküll, Jakob von (2013). Darwin and the English morality. Biosemiotics 6, 3, 449–471.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Google Scholar: 40 citations in 2018, 333 totally

On the latest count, I have 333 citations according to Google Scholar. This is up 9 since August 30th. 2018 stands with 40 citations, 2016 with 79.

Seventh lecture

Today I gave the seventh lecture in Ex.phil. at Department of social studies this autumn, on ethical theory.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Verdibørsen interview on "humanity in puberty" aired

An interview with me aired on Verdibørsen earlier today, titled "Menneskeheten i puberteten" (Humanity in puberty). In the interview I relate to Arne Næss´ thoughts about war and peace and the long-term maturing of humanity, admit to occasionally longing for a new civilization, and identify as a liberal deep ecologist. Program host Jostein Gjertsen presents the interview as Verdibørsen´s contribution to Forskningsdagene, an event which this year has "oppvekst" (childhood, upbringing) as theme.

First two days of animal ethics study trip to Switzerland

Yesterday I travelled to Switzerland, flying to Zürich, from Stavanger via Copenhagen, to take part in the study trip of Norway´s Council for animal ethics, of which I am a member (representing animal protection NGOs). I then went to Tänikon by car to meet the others, and we then went by car to Wädensvil, where we visited ZHAW Wädenswil (a campus of Zurich University of Applied Sciences) to look at their aquaculture research. After this we went to Chur to stay the night.

Today we first went to Landquart, to be shown around at Plantahof, an agricultural knowledge center in the canton of Graubünden. In this canton as much as 60% of all farms are organic. Then we went to Domleschg where we visited an organic farm which practices slaughter of calves on-farm. Finally we went to Schwägalp to stay the night there.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Completing 8 hours of teaching this week; more than half of teaching this autumn

Today I have given the third seminar in the third round of Ex.phil. seminars (the last one in this round, since two were merged due to my travels starting tomorrow.).

I am now through with half of the Ex.phil. teaching this autumn semester - and more than half of my teaching in the Master course "Philosophy of science and research methods".

Planning meeting

Today I attended a planning meeting for use of student assistants in the Master course "Philosophy of science and research methods", in the seminars in research methods, which will be led by me.

Fourth Verdibørsen interview this year forthcoming

Today I was interviewed by Jostein Gjertsen on characterizations of humanity as being at a teenage stage of development.

Verdibørsen interview on animal ethics and human dignity aired

My third Verdibørsen interview this year, with program host Karen Frivik and in dialogue with Ragnhild Sollund, was aired on Wednesday September 19th (see "Dyr og menneskeverd").

See also:

Monday, 24 September 2018

6 hours of Ex.phil. teaching

Today I have taught for 6 hours in Examen Philosophicum at Department of social studies - first the 6th lecture (on the human condition and such), and then the first and second of the third round of seminars (Sith one of them being two seminar-groups merged into one due to forthcoming travels).

Friday, 21 September 2018

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Autumn´s fifth writing day

Today I had this autumns fifth writing day - and, with 7 hours, the longest so far (I find it practical to have a writing day on Thursdays and then catch up with email and other tasks on Fridays - Monday to Wednesday I am (mostly) teaching).

I did different kinds of work with five different articles (including writing new text on four), so the day was a bit fragmented in terms of focus.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Biosemiotics 11(2) published

Biosemiotics volume 11, number 2 has been published. This is a special issue edited by Andrew Winters, "Semiotic aspects of the extended synthesis".

First planning meeting

Today I participated in the first planning meeting for Dyreetikkonferansen 2018, which will take place November 23rd at Adamstuen, Oslo. This will be the 7th annual conference.

Top 3%

According to, I am in the top 3% of researchers the last 30 days in terms of views (with 22 profile views, 92 document views and 86 unique visitors).

Semiotics review article has 600 reads in ResearchGate

According to ResearchGate, our review article "Hundred introductions to semiotics, for a million students: Survey of semiotics textbooks and primers in the world" (Kalevi Kull et al. 2015) has achieved 600 reads there.

Third philosophy of science seminar

Today we had the third philosophy of science seminar in the master course "Philosophy of science and research methods", involving student presentations about "global species" and the Anthropocene.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Seminar on Zapffe, Næss texts

Today we had the third seminar in philosophy of science in the course "Philosophy of science and research methods". The seminar included three student presentations of two Norwegian eco-philosophers, Peter Wessel Zapffe and Arne Næss.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Verdibørsen interview

Today I was at NRK Rogaland to record an interview with me and professor of criminology Ragnhild Sollund (University of Oslo) on issues related to animal ethics and human dignity.

Fifth lecture

Today I gave the fifth lecture this autumn in Ex.phil. The topic was mainly hermeneutics and questions concerning objective vs. subjective approaches to understanding human matters.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Pocket version of Ulvetider received

I have just received 10 copies of the pocket book version of our book Ulvetider - Rovdyret som splitter Norge, which has been published in September and is now in sale in book stores, kiosks and supermarkets.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Autumn´s fourth writing day

Today I had this autumn´s fourth writing day, with some 5 hours of writing time - while I was watching the twins (kindergarten closed for planning day). I did some writing on "Human development, inequality and social risks in Latin America and the Nordic countries" and on the forthcoming Biosemiotics editorial "Phenomenology and Biosemiotics".

I also started keeping track of progression in writing of academic articles (I am starting to look upon both academic and other writing in terms of handicraft), by word count. I imagine that 1.000 words per writing day is a decent result, resulting in ca. 50.000 words of academic writing per year (I also devote separate focused time to work on selected book projects, mostly in evenings).

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Course planning meeting

Today I have attended a course planning meeting with three colleagues.

2nd Call for papers for NASS XI

The second call for papers for the 11th conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies, held on University of Stavanger June 13-15th 2019, has appeared. It is available on the NASS webpage. Abstract deadline is December 10th.

There are four keynote speakers:
  • Nora Bateson
  • Ingvil Hellstrand
  • Jon Kvist
  • Jaan Valsiner

Book chapter on cultural background of predator conflict in sale soon; book launch planned

The book Rovviltet på Agder, edited by Tor Punsvik, will be available for sale October 15th and launched at Nordli bookshop at Evje on October 24th. Here is the publisher´s (Bokbyen forlag) webpage for the book.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

4 hours of teaching

Today I have given the fourth round of the second Ex.phil. seminar this fall, i.e. the eight seminar counting consecutively. I have also facilitated and moderated the first seminar in philosophy of science in the Master course "Philosophy of science and research methods", which involved two student group presentations (of texts by Michael Polanyi and David Abram). Some 50 students attended each of the seminars.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Seminar teaching

Today I gave the third round of there second Ex.phil. seminar this autumn. Social work students today.

Book review cited by publisher of Sann opplysning

My book review, published in Prosa, of the anthology Sann opplysning? is cited on the publisher´s page for the book (CappelenDamm).

Staff meeting

Today I have attended the staff meeting of Department of social studies. Brief one today.

Monday, 10 September 2018

6 hours of teaching

Today I have taught for 6 hours in Examen philosophicum at Department of social studies. First the fourth lecture this autumn, then the first two rounds of the second seminar. The lecture topic today was different forms of knowledge.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Member of ILL12 scientific committee

I have accepted to become a member of the scientific committee of the 12th International Symposium on Iconicity in Language and Literature (ILL12).

Applied for professor promotion

I have just submitted an application for being promoted as full professor in philosophy to University of Stavanger´s Faculty of Social Sciences. 31 attachments, about 600 pages of text.

Quitting UiS work group on ethical trade

I have today communicated that I quit as the academic member of University of Stavanger´s Work group on ethical trade.

To supervise MEES master student

I have negotiated with Department of media studies and social science that I will supervise a Master student in the Master in Energy, environment and Society, next Spring. In return, I will grade fewer exam papers in "Philosophy of science and research methods".

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Autumn´s third writing day

Today I had the third writing day this autumn (out of four planned so far), with 5 hours off-email time devoted to focused academic writing. I wrote a little bit on "The case for minimizing anthropogenic mortality in wildlife management" and more on "Human development, inequality and social risks in Latin America and the Nordic countries". Altogether I wrote close to 1.000 words. 

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Fifth MEE140 lecture

Today I have given the fifth and last lecture in philosophy of science in the master course "Philosophy of science and research methods". The topic was mainly ethical issues facing researchers.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Fourth MEE140 lecture

Today I gave the fourth lecture on philosophy of science in the Master course "Philosophy of science and research methods". The pic was rationality in relation to theory choice and scientific change.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Third Ex.phil. lecture

Today I gave the third Ex.phil. lecture this autumn at Department of social studies. The topic was different kinds of explanations in the social sciences.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Videos from Berkeley gathering in biosemiotics

Here are videos of presentations from the 18th gathering in biosemiotics, held in Berkeley this summer. This is the video of my presentation "The search image as link between sensation, perception and action".

No writing day

Struggling with a backlog I have had for a week or more, I can not find the time to have a writing day today. Hope I can get on track for the next weeks.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Google Scholar status per summer 2012 vs. autumn 2018

As of June 2012 - according to an old note - Google Scholars (cf. my profile) listed 19 academic articles of mine, which were in total cited 32 times, and I had an h-index of 3 (meaning that 3 of my articles had been cited at least 3 times each).

6 year on, I have according to Google Scholar been cited 324 times, and I have an h-index of 9 (up 1) as well as an h10-index of 9 (up 1; meaning that 9 of mine articles have been cited at least 10 times each). This is up 12 since August 20th. My 9th article to reach 10 citations is "Outline of an Uexküllian bio-ontology", my very first academic article, published in 2001.

"Academic day" on challenges in PhD supervision attended

Today I attended a half-day "fagdag" at Department of social studies for PhD supervisors, with training by Anne Lee.

IPSOS meeting on Norsk Monitor data

Today I attended the first half hour of IPSOS´s presentation of Norsk Monitor data at University of Stavanger. I will get access to the data for research purposes.


Today I had the first PhD supervision session for this autumn. Will happen once a month. For now I do not have any more Master or Bachelor students assigned for supervision (Bachelor thesis supervision is in Spring only).

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Third philosophy of science lecture

Today I gave the third lecture on introductory philosophy of science in "Philosophy of science and research methods". Some 40 students attended.

Two more Ex.phil. seminars

I gave one Ex.phil. seminar yesterday and another one today, thus completing the first round of four seminars.

Monday, 27 August 2018

6 hours of Ex.phil. teaching; adjusted seminar arrangement

Today I have taught for 6 hours consecutively in Examen Philosophicum at Department of social studies - first the second lecture, and then the two first rounds of the first of six seminars.

Compared with earlier years I have adjusted the seminar arrangement somewhat with 15 minutes used for Q & A or repetition based on student questions. There are also a discussion, as before, and work with Multiple Choice questions, as before (but with half an hour only now for the last task).

Letter to the editor on Ex.phil. published

My letter to the editor published as "Samfunnet trenger generalister" appeared in Stavanger Aftenblad in print last Friday, and online today. It is part of an ongoing debate about Examen philosophicum, Norway´s introductory course in philosophy.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Two Master defences at UiO

Today I have acted as external examiner at two philosophical Master degree defences at University of Oslo (Norun Pernell Haugen and Hilde Andenæs), both with an animal theme.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Second writing day

Today I had my second writing day this autumn. Managed 4 and a half hour this time, in addition to other work. Working on my "wasted growth" article.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Second MEE140 lecture

Today I have given the second lecture on philosophy of science in the course "Philosophy of science and research methods". Topics covered were demarcation of science and scientific reasoning. Some 60 students attended.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

First MEE140 lecture

Today I gave the first lecture in the Master course "Philosophy of science and research methods", which is now followed by the students of two master degree programs - Master in energy, environment and society (MEES) and Master in urban planning (M-BYUTV), altogether some 65 students. Today we went through course information, started organizing/planning student presentations, and covered the introduction of the philosophy of science text book.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Google Scholar: 312 citations; 25 texts with 5+ citations

According to Google Scholar my academic work has now been cited 312 times. This is up 9 since July 11th, up 109 since August 2017, and up 207 since February 2016. 25 of my texts have now been cited 5 times or more.

Three texts cited in Brentari 2018

In "From the hiatus model to diffuse discontinuities: A turning point in human-animal studies", published online by Biosemiotics, Carlo Brentari cites three articles of mine:
  • Tønnessen, M. (2009). Umwelt transitions: Uexküll and environmental change. Biosemiotics, 2(1), 4764.
  • Tønnessen, M. (2014). Umwelt trajectories. Semiotica, 198, 159180.
    Tønnessen, M. (2016). The semiotics of predation and the umwelten of large predators. In T. Maran, M. Tønnessen, & K. Armstrong Oma (Eds.),
    Animal umwelten in a changing world: Zoosemiotic perspectives (pp. 150118). Tartu: University of Tartu Press.
Excerpt (p. 10):
A good way to introduce the approach of the diffuse discontinuities as an alternative to the hiatus model is to discuss how the mentioned authors (Scheler, Gehlen, Plessner, Cassirer, and Langer) interpret the thought of Jakob von Uexküll. With impressive regularity, all of them present as the main Uexküllian concept the strict tie between the effector system (action) and the receptor system (perception) that characterises all animal organisation, but not the human life form. In other words, they make of Uexküll champion of the hiatus model [...]
The direct reading of Uexkülls writings and the interpretation of his work given by Thomas Sebeok (Sebeok 1979, 2001), von Uexküll (1981), and many other recent scholars (Hoffmeyer 1996; Kull 1998, 2001, 2010; Deely 2004; Rüting 2004; Barbieri 2007; Magnus 2008; Tønnessen 2009, 2014, 2016; Favareau 2010; Petrilli and Ponzio 2002; Farina and Pieretti 2014; Salthe 2014; Kleisner 2015; Maran 2016) tell us another story. In Uexkülls thought, the constitution of the Umwelt is a transcendental process through which the animal organism transforms the stimuli impinging from the outer reality in perceptive and operative signs (on the validity of this interpretation of the Umwelt concept for all levels of animal life see Brentari 2015: 89-95, 107-115); the interaction of both kinds of signs does not at all follow a mechanical immediacy, but is, instead, a sort of subject-mediated tuning of action and perception.

First Ex.Phil. lecture

Today I gave the first Ex.Phil. lecture this autumn at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies. The topics were: What is philosophy? And, what can we know?

Friday, 17 August 2018

Ex.Phil. teaching plan

A couple of days ago I composed teaching plan for Examen Philosophicum at Department of social studies this autumn.

Oral exam - MA defence

Today I participated, as internal examiner, in the oral exam held in relation to Linn Tjøtta´s Master degree defence. The grade for the thesis was given two days ago.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Quarter writing day

I had scheduled to have my first "writing day" of the autumn today, but since my son starts school today (and was at home yesterday since SFO was closed), and I also have an email backlog to take care of, it only amounted to 90 minutes of thought-gathering (on a forthcoming editorial for Biosemiotics plus revision of "Introducing a notion of accumulated GDP").

Home office; son´s first day at school

Today I am working from home (perhaps half day) since my oldest boy has his first day at school today.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Ulvetider to be published in pocket version

According to the autumn 2018 catalogue of Vega forlag, a pocket book version of our book Ulvetider will be published in September (price: 199 NOK).

More Ex.Phil. info

Today I presented basic information about Ex.Phil. to child welfare students at Department of social studies, University of Stavanger. I was accompanied by my oldest son.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Council for animal ethics statement mentioned in Dyrevern viten

The latest Dyrevernalliansen email newsletter, Dyrevern Viten, makes mention of and links to Norway´s Council for animal ethics´ statement on tagging of wild animals, which I drafted (under the heading "Viltmerking ute av kontroll").

Ex.Phil. course information presented to social work students

Today I have briefly presented course information on Ex.Phil. (SVEXPHIL10) for social work students here at Department of social studies.

Monday, 13 August 2018

MEE140 planning meeting

Today I have attended a meeting with two colleagues concerning the MEES course (Master in energy, environment and society) I am course coordinator for, "Philosophy of science and research methods" (MEE140), for planning purposes.

Brentari´s Uexküll book received

I have, at long last, received my copy of Carlo Brentari´s book Jakob von Uexküll - The discovery of the Umwelt between biosemiotics and theoretical biology, published by Springer in 2015 - for which I wrote the introduction chapter.

MEES intro meeting

Today I attended an introduction meeting with the new MEES students (Master in Energy, Environment and Society). Teaching starts next week.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Google Scholar profile updated with areas of interest

I have added areas of interest to my Google Scholar profile (max 5): Biosemiotics, theoretical biology, philosophy of science, ethics, and economics. I furthermore added as my homepage.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Special issue on biosemiotic ethics freely available online

Our special issue of Zeitschrift für Semiotik on biosemiotic ethics is now freely available online, downloadable in PDF format.

Brief presentation:
This issue presents the rapidly growing field of biosemiotic ethics. In the past two decades, biosemioticians have began to tease out the ethical implications of biosemiotics. The foundational argument is that if semiosis is a morally-relevant capacity, and if all living systems are semiotic, then biosemiosis can serve as the basis for justifying the attribution of moral status to humans, to animals and plants, and even to ecosystems. Biosemiotic ethics opens the road towards a perspective that connects ecological thinking with ethical perspectives.
All articles are licensed under the CC-BY 4.0 International license.

ResearchGate score and following

My current ResearchGate score is 16.71, cf. my profile. I have 250 followers.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Biosemiotics on Facebook and Twitter

The journal Biosemiotics is now officially on Twitter and Facebook:

The social media accounts are operated by Yogi Hendlin and myself.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Saturday, 21 July 2018

"Introducing a notion of accumulated GDP" rejected

My article "Introducing a notion of accumulated GDP" has been rejected without a review by the editor of Explorations in Economic History, due to lack of theoretical and methodological discussion. I will make use of the feedback received when revising the manuscript before submitting to another journal.

See also:

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Project extension for wolf study

Project end for the research (sub)project "Representations both Problematic and Romanticizing of Large Mammals especially Wolves" has been extended to June 30th 2019. The remaining two articles will likely only be completed next Spring.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Article "Introducing a notion of accumulated GDP" finished and submitted

I have just submitted my fresh article "Introducing a notion of accumulated GDP" to Explorations in Economic History, with data material tentatively submitted to Data in Brief (both Elsevier journals). In its present form the article includes 10 tables and 11 Figures.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Council for animal ethics statement on tagging of wild animals issued

On June 26th, Norway´s Council for animal ethics issued a statement on tagging of wild animals, drafted by me. The statement was distributed by email. The statement has not yet appeared online.

"Search image" paper presented

On June 20th, at the 18th gathering in biosemiotics, held i Berkeley, California, I presented my paper "The search image as link between sensation, perception and action". Some 60-80 people were present.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Editorial board meeting of Biosemiotics chaired

In Berkeley, in the evening of June 19th, I chaired the editorial board meeting of Biosemiotics, which was first open to all and then closed and involving only editorial board members.

Updated email signature

I have updated my email signature to read:
Morten Tønnessen

Associate professor of philosophy at University of Stavanger  Lead Editor-in-Chief of Biosemiotics  President of Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies Chair of Minding Animals Norway
Academic blog: Utopian Realism

Ex.Phil. for sosialfag received

Today I received a copy of Ex.Phil. for sosialfag (2nd edition), which I have edited, and which is on sale from now onwards. It defines compulsory readings in Examen Philosophicum at Department of social studies.

PhD application evaluation completed

I have just concluded my work in relation to evaluation of 23 applicants for a posthumanities-themed PhD position at University of Stavanger, as a member of the evaluation committee for Network for gender research.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Writing trip to Tromsø concluded

This is the conclusion of my second YFF-funded writing trip, to Tromsø. I have worked some 13 hours per day, though not exclusively with writing. I have written some text for "Wasted growth - case study: The American nightmare", and a little bit to "The case for minimizing anthropogenic mortality in wildlife management" and "Human development, inequality and social risks in Latin America and the Nordic countries", but have first and foremost worked on "Introducing a notion of accumulated GDP". This has included both text and preparation of material which will appear in tables and figures. I hope to have the latter article finished now shortly, "Wasted growth..." hopefully in August, "Human development..." in October, and "The case..." at some point before New Year.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Google Scholar: 303 citations, h10-index of 8

According to Google Scholar (cf. my profile), my publications have now been cited 303 times. This is up 13 from the May 9th count. My h-index remains 8, but my h10-index (number of articles cited at least 10 times each) is now up from 7 to 8. 

Something has happened with the yearly counts for 2016 and 2017, which had similar counts a couple of months back, whereas now 2016 stands with 77 citations (up 15?) and 2017 with 59 (down 3?). 2018 stands with 31 citations, which is up 15 since May.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Interviewed by LederNytt

Today I was interviewed, in writing, by LederNytt, a Norwegian magazine on leadership, on ethical issues.

Revised Aims & Scope for Biosemiotics

I have drafted a revised version of the Aims & Scope for Biosemiotics, published by Springer. Will appear online quite soon.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Biosemiotics #8 among Springer journals in Evolutionary & Developmental Biology

Here is an overview of the new, 2017 Impact factors for Springer journals within Evolutionary & Developmental Biology. With its record Impact Factor of 1.527, Biosemiotics is now ranked as #8 among Springer´s journals in this category.

"Ex.Phil. for sosialfag" now printed; on sale within week

The second edition of Ex.Phil. for sosialfag, edited by me (496 pp.), is in these days being published by Universitetsforlaget. The first copies are now said to have arrived. It will be on sale within a week.

Here is the book´s page on Universitetsforlaget´s webpage - and my author (editor) page, and the book´s Table of contents.

UiO examiner contract signed

I have signed a contract with University of Oslo concerning my role as external examiner for two master theses in philosophy, with animal themes, this August.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Writing trip to Tromsø

I am on my way to Tromsø, for my final trip before the holidays and the final trip funded by my YFF funding (Yngre Fremragende Forskere = Young outstanding researchers). This will be a writing trip, my second such trip.

Friday, 6 July 2018

New contract with Springer signed

I have just signed my second consecutive contract with Springer as an Editor-in-Chief of Biosemiotics. This one runs until the end of 2020. I have been one of three Editors-in-Chief of the journal since summer 2013.

Back from Amazonas; minor surgery

Yesterday I got back home from my field trip to the Amazonas. Today I underwent minor surgery in relation to a fistula I have amassed (I have Crohns), with insertion of a seton stitch. I am intending to do without any sick leave, except rest today and this weekend.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Abstract evaluation and author feedback for JCSW SI

As a contact person in the editorial team consisting of four gest-editors for the special issue "Welfare in Latin America and the Nordic countries" of Journal of Comparative Social Work, I have just communicated our preliminary decisions (based on abstract submission) and author feedback to authors. The issue is to appear in April 2019.

Grading explained

I have just explained the grading of an exam paper.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Four days in the Amazonas

For the last few days I have been at Pousada Uakari at the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve in the Amazonas (in the municipality of Alvarães). I have attended a number of guided tours, mostly to observe wildlife, but also to visit the indigenous community São José, and heard two popular science lectures. The guides were either indigenous, from one of the communities in the area, or a residing naturalist.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Amazonas next

I am currently on my way to the Amazonas, for the first time. It is also my first trip alone to Brazil, even though I have traveled here some 8 times before.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Professor promotion application in process; meeting

Today I have had a meeting with my head of department concerning my forthcoming application for promotion as full professor.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

PhD application evaluation meeting

Today I attended a meeting with a UiS colleague with whom I am evaluating 23 PhD applications for a posthumanities-themed PhD position at Network for gender research.

Complaint grading for UiB

Today I took part in concluding complaint grading of an essay in environmental ethics, course code FIL236, for University of Bergen.

Monday, 25 June 2018

ISBS annual meeting attended

On Tuesday June 19th I attended the annual meeting of the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies (ISBS) in Berkeley, California. I was tasked with informing about Biosemiotics and announcing the 2017 Biosemiotic Achievement Award.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Biosmiotics 11(1) published

Biosemiotics volume 11, issue 1 has been published, according to a Springer notification alert. This is a regular issue, with 11 articles of different formats.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Search image paper presented

Today, as the last presenter at the 18th gathering in biosemiotics (Berkeley, California June 17-20th), I presented my paper "The search image as link between sensation, perception and action." Perhaps 70-80 people were present.

Conference dinner in Berkeley attended

I have just attended the conference dinner at the conclusion of the 18th gathering in biosemiotics here i Berkeley, California. It has been a great few days here.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

First call for papers for NASS XI

The First Call for papers for the 11th conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS XI), which will be held at University of Stavanger June 13-15th 2019 with the theme "Anticipation and change", has started circulating. It can be found on the NASS webpage. Abstracts are due December 10th.

Greenhouse research seminar attended

On last Friday, June 15th, I attended the first research seminar of The Greenhouse at UiS. This included presenting environmental humanities research ideas. I also recruited a couple of volunteers for the organizing of NASS XI (to be held in Stavanger June 13-15th 2018).

Uexküll translation and framing essay cited in Clements MA thesis

These two articles, co-written and translated by me respectively ...:
— Jakob von Uexküll 2013 – translation by Morten Tønnessen, English language editing by Jonathan Beever. Darwin and the English Morality. Translation of "Darwin und die englische Moral", Deutsche Rundschau 173: 215-242. Biosemiotics 6(3): 449–471 (online version published November 21 2013, DOI 10.1007/s12304-013-9182-8).
... are cited in this master thesis:

Clements, Matthew 2018. A World Beside Itself – Jakob von Uexküll, CharlesS. Peirce, and the Genesis of a Biosemiotic Hypothesis. Master thesis, MPhil Humanities and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck University of London.

Excerpt, p. 79:
As Jonathan Beever and Morten Tønnessen document, a shift from a descriptive to a normative analysis of culture, supposedly justified on the basis of biology, had also been pursued in Uexküll’s 1917 essay on ‘Darwin und die Englische Moral’, and earlier still with the 1915 essay ‘Volk und Staat’.