Sverker Sörlin

Contact Information

  • Professor of Environmental History
  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Personal Information

Sverker’s core area of research centers on the roles and functions of knowledge in environmentally informed modern societies. Another major area of interest is research and innovation policy where he serves as a policy analyst and advisor. His current research projects encompass the science politics of climate change through the lenses of glaciology and sea ice; the emergence of and changes within environmental expertise; historical images of Arctic futures; and the environmental turn in the humanities and the social sciences. A major recent development is the KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, 2012 to 2018, funded by a major grant by industrialist Carl Bennet and matching KTH core funding. At Umeå University he received a PhD in the History of Science and Ideas (1988) and assumed the first chair of Environmental History in Scandinavia (1993-2004). He was at the Center for History of Science in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences as Associate Director (1988-1990). From 2000 through 2003 he was the founding director of the Swedish Institute for Studies in Education and Research, SISTER. Along with his academic career Sverker Sörlin is engaged in environmental and research policy advice in Sweden and internationally; during 1994 to 1998, and again from 2005 through 2009, he served on the Swedish Government’s Research Advisory Board. He serves currently on the Government’s Environmental Research Board, and he also advices the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation. He is a regular contributor to the largest Swedish daily the Dagens Nyheter, appears frequently in the public media, has conducted film and documentary projects for national radio and television; he is a member of the Swedish Radio Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘essay advisory board’. He is a widely read science writer and author of narrative non-fiction; recent books include a biography of Darwin as a father and family man (2009) and a philosophy of cross country skiing written as an ethnography of the Norwegian and Swedish national ski teams (2011). A new development is the Rediscovering Politics project, with the Stockholm think tank Arena Group, which aims to develop new ways to allow emerging academic theory and ideas to engage with politics and policy in the public sphere.

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