Submit to Biosemiotics?

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Christmas vacation

I have Christmas vacation from December 23rd to January 1st - except for grading and a peer-review I have committed to.

18 MEE140 papers graded; more reported

I have just reported grading for the home exam in Philosophy of science and research methods. I have graded 18 of the exam papers myself.

Friday, 22 December 2017

48 Ex.Phil. papers graded

I have just finishing grading 48 papers in Examen Philosophicum at Department of social studies.

Two assignments approved

I have read and approved two student assignments in MEE140. The assignments were given as replacement for taking part in student presentations, which was required course work.

Child welfare bachelor thesis graded

I have recently, with an external examiner, graded a bachelor thesis in child welfare, submitted this autumn. I supervised the student.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Program area application - status

The program area research application of the philosophers, in which I am involved, has not yet been formally submitted, but has received some critical feedback that will need to be addressed.

Publication points for 2017 - estimate

According to my preliminary calculations, I should get about 3,5-3,6 publication points (old method) for 2017. So far 3 articles with 1,1-1,2 publication points have been reported and approved, four more remain to be reported.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

UiS Christmas event attended; Ulvetider on display in book exhibition

Today I attended the end-of-year Christmas event at University of Stavanger, here in Kjell Arholms hus. The event included a book exhibition organised by the UiS library where our book Ulvetider was included on display.

Chronicle cited in daily Klassekampen

A chronicle mainly authored by me and co-signed with Lars Lenthh and Petter Bøckman, published in Dagbladet last Friday, was cited in the Norwegian national daily Klassekampen on Saturday, December 16th, in the section "Overhørt" [Overheard].

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

My say on "How to Make the World Better for Nonhuman Animals"

Marc Bekoff has initiated a collection of up to 12-word-long statements on "How to Make the World Better for Nonhuman Animals", posted in his Animal emotions blog at Psychology Today.

The text includes this contribution from me:
Acknowledge that all animals relate to signs, and respect their semiotic agency. -- Morton Tønnessen, Norway; Recent co-authored book (Open Access): Animal Umwelten in a Changing World: Zoosemiotic Perspectives (Tartu University Press 2016)

Google Scholar: 261 citations

According to Google Scholar my academic work has now been cited 261 times, up 17 from my November 24th count and up 223 since April 2013 (I now have 6-7 times more citations). Of these, 57 citations are from 2017 (+13). My h-index remains 8 and my h10-index 7. 

20 of my articles have been cited 5 times or more; three 20 or more, five 15 or more.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Fifth MA supervision

Today I gave the fifth supervision session for my master student in social work. Ten remains.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Last day at conference

I have enjoyed being here, for a day and a couple of more hours of program, at the first conference, held by and at the Paris School of Economics. Now it is coming to an end. A lot of interesting talks and data on historical developments in inequality around the world.

Subjectivity program area application said to be submitted

About a week ago, I am told, the philosophers´ application for a research program area on philosophical and scientific perspectives on subjectivity was submitted to the head of department at Department of media and social sciences. I am involved as one of the several core researchers.

Christmas lunch

Wednesday this week, two days ago, I attended the beginning of Department of social studies´ annual Christmas lunch, which was this year at Victoria hotel.

Holidays hopefully to be transferred

I have just applied for having 14 remaining vacation days transferred to 2018.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Finally in Paris for inequality conference

I have finally arrived in Paris, at the global inequality conference of the Paris School of Economics. The very first World Inequality Report was launched this morning - but I missed that, since my flight yesterday from Stavanger to Oslo was delayed some 2 hours, making me miss my next flight, for Paris. But now, via Stockholm, I am here at last.

Monday, 11 December 2017


I have just signed up for a year´s subscription to Nature, to be paid with my Outstanding Young Researcher funds.

Biosemiotics editorial "The first decade of Biosemiotics" published online

Our new Biosemiotics editorial has been published online.

Maran, Timo, Alexei Sharov and Morten Tønnessen 2017. The first decade of Biosemiotics. Editorial. Biosemiotics 10(3). published online December 9th 2017 (DOI:

Friday, 8 December 2017

Interview with Peter Bøckman on our book Ulvetider

An interview entitled "I disse ulvetider" [in these times of the wolf] with Petter Bøckman, with whom Lars Lenth and myself wrote the book Ulvetider [Time of the wolf], was published by the online book magazine BOK365 November10th.

18th gathering in biosemiotics to be held in Berkeley, USA June 2018

The 18th international Gathering in biosemiotics will be held at University of California, Berkeley, on June 17-20th 2018, organized by Terrance Deacon and Yogi Hendlin. Abstract deadline is January 22nd. More info on the conference webpage.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Input on ethical guidelines for animal experiments

Today I have contributed to the consultation response (høringsuttalelse) of Norway´s Council for animal ethics in relation to ethical guidelines for animal experiments developed by Norway´s National Committee for Research Ethics in Science and Technology (NENT).

ResearchGate profile stats

My ResearchGate profile has some currently has a ResearchGate score of 16.23, 89 citations, and 2.297 reads, with 39 research items registered.

I am less and less happy about ResearchGate and due to their increasing amount of spam-like messages.

Updated brief CV

I have updated my "Brief academic CV" somewhat - see right-hand margins.

Research program area on environmental humanities approved

I have been notified that our application for establishing a research program area at University of Stavanger on environmental humanities has been approved, under the auspices of The Greenhouse initiative. I am one of its members. As of today I am a member of two program areas. Application for a third is in process.

The full name of the new program area is The Greenhouse: A Cross-Disciplinary Environmental Humanities Initiative.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Research program area on welfare research renewed for 1 year

The research program area for welfare services research at University of Stavanger has been renewed for another your, until 31.12.2017. Starting a few months ago, the program area, which is headed by Professor Siv Oltedal, counts me as one of its members.

PhD project plans

Today I have attended a meeting with my head of department in relation to plans for a PhD scholarship with focus on the connection between welfare and wealth, with me as supervisor.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Family and freedom chapter to be published December 21st; book cover

The chapter "Familie og fridom: Norsk familiepolitikk i lys av liberal politisk teori" (Family and freedom: Norwegian family policies in light of liberal political theory) is forthcoming in Barneomsorg på norsk [Childcare in Norway]: I samspill mellom hjem og stat (eds. Ingunn Studsrød and Svein Erik Tuastad), which Universitetsforlaget says will be published December 21st.

Staff meeting attended

I have just attended Department of social studies´ staff meeting. Topics covered included info on staff changes, plans for staff seminar in Egersund, and presentation on the book - soon in press - Barneomsorg på norsk.

Meeting with innovayt

On November 14th I attended a small meeting with Innovayt here at University of Stavanger, with two colleagues.

Ulvetider book launch - without me

On Thursday November 16th I was supposed to take part in a book launch in Oslo, at Internasjonalen. The pretext was the release of the book Ulvetider: Rovdyret som splitter Norge [Time of the wolf - the predator that splits Norway] (Vega forlag 2017), which I have written with Lars Lenth and Petter Bøckman. However, although I was aboard a plane aiming for Oslo, we never landed, due to weather issues. More specifically, we headed back to Stavanger, and landed there.

The book launch was apparently attended by some 30 people.

Monday, 4 December 2017

300 students - message exchange

I am currently course coordinator in three courses with altogether 300 students or so - spread on two faculties and practically three departments. Quite a few. One of the courses extends until February, the other two are classical autumn courses.

I have no exact count of the number of messages - emails and Canvas messages - I have exchanged this autumn, but it it not unreasonable to assume that I have exchanged on average 1 message with each student, a total of 300 or so.

Friday, 1 December 2017

17 hours taught this week; done for year

I have just finished teaching 6 more hours in "Philosophy of science and health care ethics". This concludes my teaching this first of two gatherings, and all teaching this year.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

5 more hours of teaching

Today I have taught for 5 hours in "Health care ethics and philosophy of science" at University of Stavanger´s Faculty of health sciences, in the master Pre-hospital critical care. I gave an introduction to philosophy of science. The plan was to go on for 6 hours, but the students thought 5 hours was enough.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

6 hours of teaching

Today I have taught for the first 6 hours in "Health care ethics and philosophy of science" (MPH130), for Department of health studies. Today´s topic was introduction to ethics.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Christmas dinner event with MEES

On November 17th I stopped by at the Christmas dinner event for the students in Master of Energy, Environment and Society (MEES) at University of Stavanger, with my three kids and soon thereafter my wife.

Annual meeting of Minding Animals Norway held

On November 20th, the annual meeting of Minding Animals Norway was held at Domus Nova in Oslo. The meeting approved report of activities for the last year and plans for the next, plus budget. Financial report for the last year was presented, but not treated conclusively due to a mismatch between sums for assets last year on one hand and surplus plus assets by the time of the meeting on the other. Also, despite having 5 candidates for board posisions, election to the board was postponed. This means there will have to be an extraordinary general meeting, once again.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Minding Animals research seminar 2017 held; wolf ethics talk given

In the evening of Monday November 20th, I co-organized and presented at the annual research seminar of Minding Animals Norway. About 20 people attended. While my presentation was entitled "Merket for livet - Etiske spørsmål knyttet til forvaltning av og forskning på ulv" (a redo of my presentation at Vargsymposiet 2016), the research seminar also featured:
  • Norun Pernell Haugen: "Lidelsen vi ikke ser - hvordan vi kategoriserer dyrs lidelse for å skjule den for oss selv"
  • Martin Lee Müller: "Being salmon, being human"
  • Kevin Hermansen: "Dyrepoliti i Norge og Sverige"

Meeting in Council for Animal Ethics attended

On Monday 20th of November, I took part, for the first time, in a meeting of Norway´s Council for Animal Ethics, at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute in Oslo, as the representative for animal protection NGOs. The meeting lasted all day, and included topics such as research ethics guidelines for animal experimentation, large carnivore management (raised by me), and welfare issues in industrial aquaculture.

Friday, 24 November 2017

6th Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference held and chaired

Tuesday this week I co-organized, and chaired, the 6th Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference (Dyreetikkonferansen), which this year was devoted to the topic "Ulv, ulv! Hva er ulvens plass i dagens Norge?" [Wolf, wolf! What is the place of the wolf in contemporary Norway?]. Some 80 people attended. The conference took place at Litteraturhuset in Oslo, and was arranged by Minding Animals Norway and Norway´s Council for animal ethics.

Animal vision research application submitted

Wednesday, to days ago, a SAMKUL application titled "Animal Vision: Looking at/as Animals" was submitted by University of Stavanger with Finn Arne Jørgensen as prospective Project Manager and me as one of the involved researchers, with a 10% position. My participation would concern Work Package 2, "Looking as animals".

Google Scholar: 244 citations; h-10 index of 7

According to my Google Scholar profile, my academic work has now been cited 244 times (+16 since my November 7th count). Of these, 44 are from 2017 (+15), versus 46 from 2015 (+1) and 58 from 2016. My h-index remains 8 (see October post), meaning that 8 of my papers have been cited at least 8 times. My h10-index is now 7, up from 6 which it has been since August. My 7th text to reach 10 citations is "Outline of an Uexküllian bio-ontology" (2001), my very first academic publication.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

MEE140 exam prep session

Yesterday, with a colleague, I had a 1-hour exam prep and summary session with students in "Philosophy of science and research methods".

Welfare research - program area application

This week an application for a 1 year renewal of the program area for research in welfare services, headed by Siv Oltedal, was submitted at University of Stavanger, with me (recently) included as one of the researchers.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Wolf chronicle composed

I have just sent a chronicle, (somewhat) co-written with Lars Lenth and Petter Bøckman, to Aftenposten, entitled "Vi må snakke om ulven" [Ww have to talk about the wolf].


Monday morning I got my copy of our book Ulvetider - rovdyret som splitter Norge [Time of the wolf - the predator that splits Norway].

Sunday, 19 November 2017

MEE140 exam questions composed

The last few days, with a colleague, I have composed exam questions for the home exam in MEE140 (Philosophy of science and research methods).

Search image paper online with coccected proofs

My paper "The search image as link between sensation, perception and action", published in BioSystems November 4th, is now available online with corrected proofs.

"Existential universals" published

My article "Existential universals: Biosemiosis and existential semiosis" has just been published in no. 4, 2017 of Chinese Semiotic Studies, in the section "Biosemiotics and philosophy of science" (along with a paper by the late Eliseo Fernández).

Tønnessen, Morten 2017i. Existential universals: Biosemiosis and existential semiosis. Chinese Semiotic Studies 13(4): 381–398. Published online November 16th 2017. DOI:

Friday, 17 November 2017

Home exam questions composed

Today, with input and feedback from a colleague, I have composed home exam questions for Ex.Phil.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

10 hours of teaching in Ex.Phil.

I have given an Ex.Phil. seminar today, and one yesterday, plus two Monday, when I also gave the 12th lecture. This concludes my teaching in Ex.Phil. this autumn. This week´s teaching included summary, course in academic writing, and trial Multiple Choice exam.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Chronicle on ethics of wolf issue

This weekend I drafted the chronicle "Et etisk blikk på ulvesaken" [An ethical look at the wolf issue], co-authored with Kristian Ellingsen-Dalskau, secretary of Norway´s Council for animal ethics. I sign as chair of Minding Animals Norway. Forthcoming in the daily Nationen.

Monday, 13 November 2017

MC exam questions composed

Today I have composed exam questions for the Multiple Choice exam next Monday in Department of social studies´ Examen Philosophicum.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Search image paper proof-read

I have just proof-read my article "The search image as link between sensation, perception and action", to appear in BioSystems as part of a special issue on code biology.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Meeting with deans and fellow philosophers

I have just been to a meeting with two fellow UiS philosophers and the deans of Faculty of social sciences and Faculty of education and humanities, as a follow-up to our document sent this Spring on the organization of the philosophers and (mainly) our teaching offer.

Master students´ research seminar attended

Today I have attended parts of the master students´ research seminar at Department of social studies, including the presentation of the plans for the master thesis of Linn Tjøtta, whom I am supervising.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Search image paper already available online

My article "The search image as link between sensation, perception and action" has now been published online in a pre-proof version.

Tønnessen, Morten 2017. The search image as link between sensation, perception and action. DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2017.10.016. First available online November 4th 2017.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

3 hours of teaching and presentation at MEES & Spire event "Understanding Arctic Oil"

Today I have been teaching for 3 hours for the MEES class, and taken part at an open event organized by the MEES linjeforening and the NGO Spire, "Understanding Arctic Oil". This was a great event, and featured presentations by myself ("University politics, academic activism and vested interests") plus three others, including Oluf Langhelle. Perhaps 80 people attended.

My 3 hours of teaching in "Philosophy of science and research methods" - one hour with teacher presentations on biosemiotics and zoosemiotics, and 2 hours of student presentations on similar themes - concludes the teaching of this course.

228 Google Scholar citations

According to my verified profile at Google Scholar, I have now been cited 228 times. This is up 16 from the October 10th count. This includes 45 citations in 2015, 58 in 2016 and 29 in 2017.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Philosophers meeting

Today I attended a meeting with some of the UiS philosophers in preparation of our meeting with the deans of Faculty of social sciences and Faculty of education and humanities later this week.

11th lecture - on tacit knowledge

Today I gave the 11th Ex. Phil. lecture this autumn. The topic was Michael Polanyi´s thoughts on tacit knowledge.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Juha Ojala joins NASS board

Juha Ojala, professor of music education, has joined the board of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies as Supplementary Representative for Finland - see full board at our webpage.

Environmental humanities lunch

Today, for the second time, I attended a Greenhouse lunch at UiS.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

20th Ex.Phil. seminar, 14 hours teaching this week

Today I gave the fourth Ex.Phil. seminar this week. This concludes this week´s 14 hours of teaching, and 20 out of 24 Ex.Phil. seminars this semester.

Fourth and last research methods seminar for MEES

Today I have given the fourth seminar in research methods for the MEES class.

Search image article accepted for publication in BioSystems

I have been notified that my article "The search image as link between sensation, perception and action" has been accepted for publication in BioSystems´ special issue in code biology.

In the round of revisions, I made this figure illustrating the workings of search images, on request by a peer-reviewer: