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Thursday, 8 November 2012

SUM's presentation of the Norwegian animal ethics conference

This is the presentation of Dyreetikkonferansen, the Norwegian animal ethics conference, on the pages of Centre for Development and the Environment (University of Oslo), one of the three institutions behind the conference. Published September 7th.

Den norske Dyreetikkonferansen arrangeres for første gang, på Litteraturhuset i Oslo. Initiativtagerne bak konferansen er Kristian Bjørkdahl ved Senter for utvikling og miljø (SUM) og Morten Tønnessen i Minding Animals Norge, som har alliert seg med Rådet for dyreetikk, samt med Mattilsynet og Veterinærinstituttet.
The Norwegian animal ethics conference is held for the first time, at the House of Literature in Oslo. The initiators behind the conference is Kristian Bjørkdahl at the Centre for Development and Environment (SUM) and Morten Tønnessen from Minding Animals Norway, who have allied themselves with the Council for Animal Ethics and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and The Norwegian Veterinary Institute.

Report from first Norwegian animal ethics conference

"Den løynlege maten" (The /hidden/ food) is a report, written by Minding Animals Norway board member Frode Bakke Bjerkevik, from the first Norwegian animal ethics conference, Dyreetikkonferansen, which was arranged September 21st (by Kristian Bjørkdahl of SUM, Ann Margaret Grøndahl of Norway's Council for Animal Ethics, and myself of Minding Animals Norway). It has been published by Salongen, a Norwegian website covering philosophy and the history of ideas.

SAMKUL decision on PERLAR etc. delayed

The research program SAMKUL (Samfunnsutviklingens kulturelle forutsetninger - the cultural preconditions of societal development) was supposed to give notice about what research projects get funding at some point in October. However, the process is delayed and decisions will only be taken November 22nd-23rd.

The prospective research project "Perceptions of Animal Agency: Large Predators and other Cultured Animals" (PERLAR), with Paul Thibault as Project Manager and myself as Assistant Project Manager, is one of 138 applications. 12-14 projects are expected to get funding.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Term "Umwelt transition" applied in landscape studies chapter

As I have been made aware, my 2009 article "Umwelt transitions" has been quoted in the following book chapter:
Benediktsson, Karl 2010. A Stroll through Landscapes of Sheep and Humans [176, 190, cf. 179 – Tønnessen 2009b, quoted as Tønnesen 2009]. In: Karl Benediktsson and Katrín Anna Lund (eds): Conversations with landscape, 173-191. Farnham (UK), Burlington (US): Ashgate.
Excerpt (p. 176):
There is, as Tønnesen (2009) has discussed in detail, a certain static quality to von Uexküll’s conceptualisation . His is a world where organisms and their Umwelten are a perfect match; with no consideration being given to temporal change, gradual or sudden, that might upset this harmonious whole. In a world where global environmental change is being discussed with ever more urgency, this seems more than a little quaint. Tønnesen (2009) proposes the concept of Umwelt transition to accommodate the notion of change with this set of thinking.
The notion of Umwelt transition is further applied on p. 179:
The subsequent story is well known: the vegetative character of the landscape changed drastically in the centuries following settlement (Arnalds 1987). The wood cover shrunk considerably, due to direct clearing and burning by humans as well as animal browsing pressure. Over time the unsustainability of the land use system became evident. Especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and coupled with particularly harsh climatic conditions as well as large volcanic eruptions, soil erosion reached catastrophic proportions. An Umwelt transition was taking place. Gradually, the conversation between animals and humans via landscape became less and less amicable.

Nov. 12: Arne Næss symposium with Lawrence Buell, George Monbiot and others

The webpage of, dedicated to celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the birth of Norwegian deep ecologist philosopher Arne Næss (1912-2009), has been updated with an announcement concerning this year's Arne Næss symposium. The event «Thinking Dutifully, Acting Beautifully» – Our Responsibility for a Sustainable Future, which takes place November 12th in Oslo, includes a lecture by Harvard scholar Lawrence Buell and key-note speeches by Jostein Gaarder, Eva Joly and George Monbiot.

Grading of 188 Multiple Choice exam papers

Tuesday October 30th I reported the results of my grading of 188 Multiple Choice exam papers in Examen Philosophicum, which is part of my responsibility as an Associate Professor at Department of Health Studies, University of Stavanger. 182 passed, 6 failed. The exam took place October 26th, and included 15 questions, at least 10 of which had to be correct in order to pass.