Submit to Biosemiotics?

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Online access to 10 year old book review granted

10 years after its publication, I have received online access to a book review of mine, namely "A stroll around the worlds of zoosemioticians and other animals", a review of Dario Martinelli´s book Zoosemiotics: Proposals for a handbook (2007) published in Semiotica.

Performance appraisal

Today I attended this year´s performance appraisal with my Head of department at Department of social studies - via Zoom.

A meeting and a last supervision session (BA)

Today I have attended the faculty leadership meeting at Faculty of social sciences, and had my fourth and last bachelor thesis supervision session with a student.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Writing day - phenomenology

Another writing day today, with some 700 words written on my phenomenology chapter for Semiotic agency.


I do not publish in MDPI journals. A journal like Sustainability has some interesting papers published (and I once saw a thematically interesting call for papers to a special issue), but if you look at how many special issue calls they currently have (hundreds), it looks absurd. Check the online form for signaling interest in editing a special issue, and you see that they do not even require your CV (sending your CV is optional). And the editorial board counts about 1.500 people. Also, authors are invited to suggest who can peer-review their article. None of this is reassuring to me with regard to professional academic publishing.

Response from NOAH to my chronicle on Tiger King

Today Siri Martinsen, leader of the animal protection NGO "NOAH - for dyrs rettigheter", has a letter to the editor published in the Norwegian daily Vårt Land, titled "Illusjonen om dyrehagene", in response to my chronicle ""Tiger King" Joe Exotic: En ekte dyrevenn?".

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

To contribute to Open semiotics book with chapter "Umwelt theory for practitioners"

Today I have had half an article writing day, with some 200 words written. Accumulated number of writing days in 2020 is up to 31.

I wrote the summary reiterated below, which is the abstract for an invited book chapter for an anthology edited by Amir Biglari, Open Semiotics.


"Umwelt theory for practitioners: Practical guidelines for a more-than-human descriptive phenomenology" 
By Morten Tønnessen 

Descriptive phenomenology denotes a scientific method for describing lived experience, based on phenomenological philosophy. But despite the fact that classics such as Husserl and Heidegger acknowledged the existence of animal lifeworlds, descriptive phenomenology in its current forms is typically only applicable to the study of human lifeworlds. Using the semiotically framed Umwelt theory of Jakob von Uexküll as foundation allows for the development of a novel version of descriptive phenomenology that is non-anthropocentric and pluralistic. In this chapter, I introduce practical guidelines for a more-than-human descriptive phenomenology which is applicable in the study of human as well as animal lifeworlds. Whereas prominent current forms of descriptive phenomenology rely heavily on the subject´s mastery of verbal interviews and/or written accounts, i.e. the mode of human language, a more-than-human descriptive phenomenology depends primarily on participatory observation of and interaction with the subjects under study, possibly supplemented by expert interviews. In the study of animals, applied Umwelt theory can be of use e.g. to veterinarians, ethologists, and zookeepers. It is also of use to any anthropologist or social scientist that studies humans who interact with animals. By providing a scientific method informed by both ethology and semiotics, it offers researchers an invaluable tool for qualitative studies of human and animal lifeworlds separately or in relation to each other.

"Existential universals" article hopefully to be reprinted in Tarasti anthology

My article "Existential universals: Biosemiosis and existential semiosis" was first drafted around 12-13 years ago and eventually published as a journal article in 2017, in Chinese Semiotic Studies. The anthology it was originally written for, Transcending signs edited by Eero Tarasti et al., is now to be published by Mouton de Gruyter. Granted that we get permission to reprint it, the article will appear in the anthology too.

Two meetings; scenarios for the autumn semester

Today I have attended two meetings, first a shortened, 1-hour faculty leadership group meeting, then a meeting in the faculty´s emergency preparedness group (the faculty leadership supplemented by office managers and a few other administrative staff). The latter meeting was about the autumn semester, with some preliminary scenario planning.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Writing day - phenomenology chapter

Today I have had half a writing day devoted to Semiotic agency, specifically my phenomenology chapter in that book, with some 500 words written - for the bibliography (literature search). Total number of writing days this year is up to 30,5.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

30 writing days

Today I have had half a writing day devoted to our book Semiotic agency, with some 300 words written in the chapter on the origin of life, bringing the total number of writing days this year up to 30.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Contributions to application for establishing ph.d. in artistic research

Today and the last few days I have contributed to an accreditation application for a new ph.d. programme in artistic research, in relation to cooperation between Faculty of social sciences and Faculty of performing arts at University of Stavanger and collaborators at University of Agder.

News story on establishment of six research groups

The news story "Støtte til seks forskergrupper ved SV-fakultetet" has been published on the homepage of University of Stavanger.

See also:


Today I have attended a meeting with some colleagues related to the ph.d. programme in social sciences, on progress reporting.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Writing day - Semiotic agency

Another writing day devoted to Semiotic agency. Some 400 words written. Number of writing days is upt to 29,5 since New Year.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Writing day - Semiotic agency

Today I have had an article writing day devoted to our book Semiotic agency, with some 500 words written. Total number of writing days since New Year is 28,5 to date.

A meeting

Today I have attended a Teams meeting of the appointments committee at Faculty of social sciences.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

20th gathering in biosemiotics: Paper accepted; abstract to appear in book

I have been notified that my paper "Introducing a three-dimensional interactive model of environmental change" has been accepted to oral presentation at the 20th gathering in biosemiotics (which is being postponed until November, cf. previous post). The notification also included information about a book that will appear in relation to the gathering (published by University of Tartu Press), where the abstract of my paper will be included.

"The ethics of laying hen genetics" featured in Viten newsletter

Our article "The ethics of laying hen genetics" is featured today in the newsletter "Viten" #7, 2020 (distributed today), distributed by the Norwegian Animal Protection organization Dyrevernalliansen (by email):
Avlsproblemer for verpehøns
Avlen for intensiv egglegging har medført at verpehøns har betydelige velferdsproblemer. Forskere tilknyttet GroupHouseNet-prosjektet har kartlagt statusen internasjonalt, som domineres av fire avlskonserner. Foreløpig tilbyr ikke disse konsernene alternative raser med påvist betydelig bedre velferd, og konsernene unnlater å publisere informasjon som kunne ha blitt brukt til å utvikle slike bedre rasealternativer.

Kilde: Fernyhough M. et al., "The ethics of laying hen genetics", Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 33:15-26, 2020.
Our article is Open Access and therefore freely available for download.

Two meetings

Today I have attended the weekly faculty leadership group meeting at Faculty of social sciences, and chaired the monthly meeting in the ph.d. committee for the ph.d. in social sciences.

Friday, 17 April 2020

Records for publication points at UIS; Faculty of social sciences

The University of Stavanger is credited with more publication points than ever before, for 2019, cf. news story. 1298 points for the university as a whole. Faculty of social sciences did particularly well compared to 2018, with an increase from 89 to 126 publication points.

Nationally UIS is no. 3 measured by publication points per scholar among the bigger institutions, only behind University of Oslo and University of Bergen. UIS had 1,36 points per scholar in 2019.

20th gathering in biosemiotics postponed

Yesterday it was announced that the 20th gathering in biosemiotics, which was to be held in Olomouc, Czech republic, July 8-12th, has been postponed until November. No specific dates have been announced as of yet.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Writing day; semiotics companion chapter finished

Today i have had an article writing day devoted to finishing the full draft of my book chapter "Semiotics in ethology and zoology". And finish I did, with some 1500 words written.

Total number of writing days this year is up to 27,5. More than 20.000 words written now since New Year.

UIS guidelines for evaluating doctoral degrees revised

The University of Stavanger has revised its "Veiledning om bedømmelse av norske doktorgrader" (Guidelines for evaluation of Norwegian doctoral degrees), with a number of contributions from me.

Tiger King chronicle published

My chronicle ""Tiger King" Joe Exotic: En ekte dyrevenn?" ("Tiger King" Joe Exotic: A genuine animal advocate?) is published in the national Norwegian daily Vårt Land today, both in print and online.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

A meeting

Today I have attended one online meeting, namely the (pretty much weekly) faculty leadership group meeting, consisting of Dean, Vice Dean(s) and Faculty Director.

The Biosemiotic Achievement Award for 2019 given to Hendlin´s article "I am a fake loop"

The Biosemiotic Achievement Award for 2019 has been announced, cf. the homepage of Biosemiotics. Both the announcement text (by this year´s Selection panel, Franco Giorgi and Maurita Harney) and the award-winning article, Yogi Hendlin´s "I Am a Fake Loop: the Effects of Advertising-Based Artificial Selection", are freely available online for the next two months (for reading as well as for download).

Book project description composed for CCS book

Yesterday I finished the project description for my book project Captured: CCS and the fight for the soul of the environmental movement. This includes a tentative Table of content. 5 pp. altogether.

Not to be Dean

Today I was informed that I am not advancing to the next step of the recruitement process for a new Dean at the University of Stavanger´s Faculty of social sciences. I was one of three applicants that were interviewed for the position.

See also:

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Six research groups established at Faculty of social sciences

Last week the Faculty of social sciences established six research groups. I have been involved in my capacity as Vice-Dean of Research. The research groups are organised around publishing projects and supplement the existing "program areas for research" (of which there are five at the faculty as of today). The research groups have a time perspective of two years each.

Chronicle on Tiger King Netflix series to appear in Vårt Land

Yesterday I finished a chronicle, titled ""Tiger King" Joe Exotic: En ekte dyrevenn?" ("Tiger King" Joe Exotic: A genuine animal advocate?). Today I was told it will appear in the daily Vårt Land (which invited it) in a couple of days.

Two meetings

Today - back from holidays (at home) - I have attended the first faculty leadership group meeting after Easter, and a meeting related to the ph.d. programme in social sciences.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Google Scholar: 446 citations, i10-index of 17, h-index of 12

Google Scholar now says I have 446 citations (up 19 since April 4th), 20 thereof in 2020, an h-index of 12 (up from 11 as of April 4th) and an i10-index of 17 (up from 16 April 4th).

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Wolf book referred to in daily´s commentary

Our book Ulvetider (Vega forlag 2017) is referred to in the commentary "Omstreifende stedfortreder" by Lars Gilberg, which was published in the Norwegian national daily Vårt Land on March 9th.

To be co-supervisor on progress-themed ph.d. project at Department of Cultural Studies and Languages (IKS)

About a week ago I was informed that the ph.d. project "Progress and political action in an age of environmental crisis" has been allocated a ph.d. position by the Dean of University of Stavanger´s Faculty of Arts and Education. Tyson Ashley Retz will be main supervisor, with me as co-supervisor. The ph.d. scholar will be employed at Department of Cultural Studies and Languages (IKS). A call for applications will appear in late 2020, with start date August 1st 2021.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Writing day

Today I had a writing day devoted to my semiotics companion chapter "Semiotics in ethology and zoology", with some 7-800 words written. Total number of article writing days this year is up to 26,5.

5 exam papers graded

Today I have graded 5 exam papers for the continuation exam in Ex.phil. at Department of social studies.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Google Scholar: 427 citations, i10 index 16

According to Google Scholar (cf. my profile) my research now has 427 citations (+26 since end of December), with 19 citations registered in 2020 so far.

My i10-index is up to 16 (up 3 from December, up 2 from November). In other words, 16 of my publications now has at least 10 citations each.

My h-index remains 11.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Norwegian-Baltic research application OPINION submitted

Today our Norwegian-Baltic research application "One planet: Inclusion and environmental awareness" (OPINION) was submitted, after intense preparations the last few days and weeks. I take part in two work packages, came up with the project title and acronym, and have recruited two external experts, among other things. Kathrine Skoland is designated Norwegian Project Leader, with me and Ingvil Hellstrand also being involved researchers. If funded 15% of my work time will be devoted to this project for 3 years. Kaunas University of Technology would run the project, with partners in Stavanger, Riga (Riga Stradins University) and Tartu.

Two firsts: A digital ph.d. defence and a Zoom meeting

Today I have attended/watched the trial lecture and beginning of ph.d. defence of Nina Hjertvikrem (UIS Business School). This was the first digital trial lecture and ph.d. defence ever at University of Stavanger - and was held partaking in the ph.d. programme in social sciences, which I am heading.

I have also attended my first Zoom meeting - in the biosemioticians´ cave, as it were.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Abstract review for 20th gathering in biosemiotics done

I have recently reviewed ca. 17 abstracts as a member of the scientific committee for the 20th gathering in biosemiotics, to be held (hopefully) in Olomouc in July.

A supervision session and a job interview

Today I have had a supervision session (for bachelor thesis in social work), and been at a job interview (in Teams) for the position as Dean at University of Stavanger´s Faculty of social sciences.

"Learning to fly again" submitted to Child & Youth Services

Joakim Jiri Haaland has just submitted our co-written article "“Learning to fly again” – What children in care`s friluftsliv experiences tell us about the guidance they need to experience joyful leisure" to the journal Child & Youth Services.