Google+ Followers

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Teaching plan for Ex.Phil. composed

Today I have finished composing the lecture and seminar plan for this autumn´s Examen Philosophicum at Department of social studies at UiS.

Ex.Phil. presented for child welfare students

Today I presented the course Examen Philosophicum for bachelor students in child welfare at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies, during the introduction week.

Friday, 11 August 2017

IASS general assembly in Kaunas attended

On June 29th I attended (most of) the general assembly of the International Association for Semiotic Studies, held in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Interviewed on whaling by Süddeutsche Zeitung

A feature story in Süddeutsche Zeitung on whaling, titled "Die letzten Jäger" and featuring an interview with me in capacity as Norwegian Green Party politician, was published in no. 167, 2017, Samstag/Sonntag 22./23. Juli. In the article I am referred to as "Tierschutz-Sprecher der Partei" (the animal protection spokesman of the party). The same article appears to have been published also by the Swiss newspaper Der Bund (July 27th), likely also Tagesanzeiger.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

"Umwelt theory revisited" presented at NASS X in Kaunas

On Friday June 30th, I presented my paper "Umwelt theory revisited - contemporary Uexküllian thought in 10 points" during the 10th conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Course in PhD supervision attended

Today, for some two and a half hours, I attended a Crash-Course/First Aid Course in supervision of PhD students, held by Anne Lee.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Lunch meeting

Today I attended a lunch meeting with two UiS colleagues in relation to my responsibility as course coordinator for "Philosophy of science and research methods".

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Ethology panel in Mexico City cancelled

The ethology panel I was to be part of at the 4th Minding Animals Conference has been cancelled due to lack of interest from other scholars.

Sales data for "Thinking about animals..."

According to a royalty statement from Lexington Books (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group), our book Thinking about Animals in the Age of the Anthropocene  sold 114 copies last year, 24 of which have been returned (net sale: 90, i.e. 82 Cloth and 8 Electronic).

Chair of academic-political panel on green jobs

Yesterday I chaired and co-organised "Grønt Symposium" (Green symposium) at Mellombels Ølstove in Bryne, Norway. The panel, discussing green business and jobs, consisted of two politicians, one environmentalist and two scholars, my UiS colleagues Rune Dahl Fitjar and Klaus Mohn (both economists). The symposium, which attracted some 100 people, was organised by Time and Rogaland Green Party.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Back to work

My holiday is over. Back to work tomorrow.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Semiotic confederations meeting in Kaunas

On June 29th, I attended a semi-formal meeting in Kaunas, Lithuania, for representatives of various international semiotics confederations, representing the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS). The meeting was convened by IASS President Paul Cobley, and attended by a dozen people or so.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Not able to attend first Council for animal ethics meeting

I have given notice that I cannot attend the excursion and meeting of Norway´s Council for animal ethics, which I have just joined as a regular member representing animal protection NGOs. This is due to teaching obligations at University of Stavanger.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Graded parental leave ended

July 12th was the final day of the second round of my graded parental leave with our twins Alexander and Cecilie (now almost 2 years old).

Summer vacation

This summer, I am on vacation from University of Stavanger in the period July 11th to August 6th.

Paper work for reimbursement

Just before starting on my holiday, I did a full day of paper work at University of Stavanger to get reimbursement for various academic and other trips the last two-three couple of months.

MAC4 panel on animals and philosophy

At the 4th Minding Animals Conference, to take place in Mexico City January 17-24th, I will be one of the participants in the Animals and Philosophy panel.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Search image article finished

On July 9th, the night before July 10th, I finished my article "The search image as link between sensation, perception and action", submitted for a special issue of BioSystems on code biology.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

GroupHouseNet STSM: Ethics of laying hen breeding

GroupHouseNet has issued a call for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) in 2017-18. I am involved as a host in one of the priority topics:
WG1 Ethics of laying hen breeding, Host Morten Tonnessen, Stavanger, Norway,
(Collaborators Mike Toscano, Christine Nicol, Teun van de Braak) – Ethical considerations of laying hen breeding companies. morten.tonnessen[a]
Application deadline is August 15th.

Erasmus Mundus funding achieved for MFAMILY, second round

The University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies has successfully applied for Erasmus Mundus funding for Master in Social Work with Families and Children (MFAMILY) for a new round. I have been somewhat involved in the application work, in relation to revision and presentation of the course "Welfare state and welfare policy".

Friday, 30 June 2017

Representing Biosemiotics at journals fair in Kaunas

Two days ago, on Wednesday afternoon, at the 13th world congress of semiotics (Kaunas June 26-30th), I participated in the semiotic journals fair, along with fellow co-editors of Biosemiotics Alexei Sharov and Timo Maran.

"Uexküllian phenomenology" presented in Kaunas

Yesterday, at the 13th world congress of semiotics (Kaunas June 26-30th), I presented my paper "Uexküllian phenomenology" in the morning session of "Biosemiotics in dialogue". Some 15 people were present.

Another biosemiotics session chaired in Kaunas

Yesterday, at the 13th world congress of semiotics (Kaunas June 26-30th), I chaired the afternoon session "Biosemiotics in dialogue". Some 35 people were present.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

"Biosemiotics in dialogue" session chaired in Kaunas

Earlier today I chaired a brief session in the segment "Biosemiotics in dialogue" during the ongoing 13th world congress of semiotics in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Report from GroupHouseNet stakeholder workshop

Here is a brief report from the stakeholder workshop I co-organised in Skopje, Macedonia, in early June as part of the COST action GroupHouseNet.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Board meeting - MAN

I have just chaired a board meeting of Minding Animals Norway, via Skype.

Friday, 23 June 2017

"Umwelt theory revisited" presentation at NASS X scheduled for June 30th

My presentation "Umwelt theory revisited - contemporary Uexküllian thought in 10 points" has been scheduled for presentation at the 10th conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (Kaunas, Lithuania June 26th to 30th) on Friday June 29th at 9.00-9.30.

Uexküllian phenomenology presentation scheduled for June 29th

My presentation "Uexküllian phenomenology" has been scheduled for presentation at the 13th World Congress of Semiotics (Kaunas, Lithuania June 26th to 30th), in the session "Biosemiotics in dialogue", on Thursday June 29th at 9.00-9.30.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

To take part in two panels at MAC4, Mexico City

I will take part in a panel on "Animals and philosophy", and another on "Animals, history and ethology" during Minding Animals Conference 4, which is to be held in Mexico City January 17-24th 2018.

EMP151 field work summary composed and distributed

I have earlier this Spring composed a 7 pp. popular science summary of field work conducted in Norway Spring 2015 as part of the research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis". Today I distributed it via email to interviewees. The video-recorded interviews were about wolves and related animals.

Four bachelor theses graded

I have finished grading four bachelor theses in social work, as the internal examiner.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Record-high Impact Factor for Biosemiotics

The Impact Factor for Biosemiotics for 2016 has been released - a record high 0.964.

Panel participation at MAC4?

I have signalled interest in taking part in three panels at Minding Animals Conference 4, to take place in Mexico City next January, particularly "Ecophilosophy".

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Working lunch

Today I attended a working lunch with some of the teachers in "Welfare state and welfare policy" where we evaluated this Spring´s course.

"Wolf land" cited in Hiedenpää & Pellikka

My article

Tønnessen, Morten 2010. Wolf Land. Biosemiotics 3.3: 289–297 (online version, published April 23, 2010: DOI: 10.1007/s12304-010-9077-x).
is cited in

Hiedanpää, Juha & Jani Pellikka 2017. Preadaptative Transactions and Institutional Change: Wolf-critical activism in southwestern Finland [2010e]. Environmental Policy and Governance 27: 270-281. DOI: 10.1002/eet.1754.
Excerpt (p. 277):
A marriage and a one dollar note are typical examples that Searle uses to illustrate a status function. The wolf-critical civil society has actively claimed that the wolf should not have such a position, since it lacks some essential biological properties and definitely lacks the collective and institutional properties that would constitute its status function. The wolfs status must not be symbolized (for wolf semiotics, see Tønnessen, 2010). Instead, the wolf must be considered according to its actual physical and mental effects and not according to some agreed upon abstract properties, e.g. it being endangered, since there are tens of thousands of wolves in Russia.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Proposed by Ministry as member of the Norwegian Council of Animal Ethics

I have been proposed by Norway´s Ministry of agriculture and food as member of the Norwegian Council of Animal Ethics (Rådet for dyreetikk), as representative for animal protection organisations, specifically Dyrevernalliansen and Dyrebeskyttelsen, for the rest of the period 2016-2018. I have confirmed my willingness to be appointed, and the animal protection NGOs have confirmed their support of the prospective appointment.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Session chaired at NoSP2017

Today I have chaired the session 2D "Perspectives on the body: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Jonas, Merleau-Ponty" at the 15th Annual Conference of the Nordic Society for Phenomenology (NoSP), held at NTNU, Trondheim, Norway. The session included papers by Sigurd Hverven, Alexandru Bejinariu, Ullrich M. Haase and Solveig Bøe.

Paper presented at NoSP2017, NTNU

Today I have presented my paper "The Search Image as Link Between Sensation, Perception and Action" at the 15th Annual Conference of the Nordic Society for Phenomenology (NoSP), held at NTNU, Trondheim, Norway. My presentation was part of the session 3B "Phenomenology and Cognitive Science", chaired by Tarjei Mandt Larsen. Some 10-15 people were present.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Student evaluation - results

I have earlier composed questions for student evaluation of the course "Welfare state and welfare policy", and today I received the results, which I have shared with other teachers in the course. Most feedback was mildly positive, though there were also some critical remarks.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

10th newsletter of NASS finished; call for GA in Kaunas

I have just taken part in finishing the 10th newsletter of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies, along with Inesa Sahakyan. The issue includes a call for the NASS general assembly, to take place June 30th in Kaunas, Lithuania.

EU forum

Today I have attended the first EU forum meeting, held by the research department of University of Stavanger.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

In committee preparing research seminar in Havanna

I am part of a small committee at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies that is preparing a research seminar at Universidade de Havanna, Cuba, to take place late January 2018, with welfare research as theme and organized in cooperation with international collaborators.

Two meetings

Today I have attended two meetings, one on organization of the 2017 Norwegian Animal Ethics conference (via Skype and phone), the other one on a forthcoming guest-lecture at University of Stavanger that I am co-organising.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

NASS: Possibly running for president; UiS candidate venue for NASS XI

I have just signalled interest, to the board, in being nominated as President of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS) ahead of its General Assembly in late June in Kaunas during NASS X, and launched the University of Stavanger as a possible venue for NASS XI in 2019.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Work group meetings in Macedonia

Today I have attended parts of the work group meetings of GroupHouseNet in Skopje, Macedonia. Soon the meeting will be closing.

Minutes on tail biting written

I have just written minutes for the group work yesterday, for one of the three groups at the GroupHouseNet stakeholder workshop in Skopje, Macedonia, focused on avoiding tail docking and reducing tail biting in pigs (3pp).


I have just voted in the election at University of Stavanger of scientific staff members of the board of the new Faculty of Social Science.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Secretary for GroupHouseNet stakeholder group work

Today I have acted as secretary for one of the three groups at the GroupHouseNet stakeholder workshop in Skopje, Macedonia. Our topic was how to avoid tail docking and tail biting in pigs.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017


I have arrived in Skopje, Macedonia. And attended an informal dinner with some of the participants at the stakeholder workshop that will take place tomorrow. A lovely atmosphere.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Thinking... book available on Hawaii

Our book Thinking about animals in the age of the Anthropocene is now available at the Hawaii State Public Library System.

Visa for Turkey

I have just applied for, and received a visa for Turkey, in connection with my participation at a GroupHouseNet COST event over two days this week in Skopje, Macedonia. I will be returning to Norway via Istanbul, with a night there.

Pictures from På Kanten, the Norwegian philosophy festival

These are pictures from På Kanten, the Norwegian philosophy festival, late May.

From the improvisation "philosophy sport".

From my conversation with fellow philosopher Ole Martin Moen on the suffering of wild animals. According to the organizers, this was the one event that engaged the audience the most.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Compulsory readings reported

I have just reported compulsory readings in the three courses I am responsible for this autumn to our academic book store.

Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference to be held November 21st

Today I have attended a meeting at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute in Oslo, in preparation of the Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference 2017. The conference will take place November 21st, with a wolf theme.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Special issue on biosemiotic ethics - online presentation, email mention

Our special issue of Zeitschrift für Semiotik on biosemiotic ethics is given mention in the holiday greetings email of the publisher, Staufenburg Verlag, with the Table of contents reiterated etc.

Mit dem Themenbereich Biosemiotische Ethik / Biosemiotic Ethics beschäftigt sich das neu erschienene Heft der Zeitschrift für Semiotik. Die zahlreichen – zum ersten Mal in der Geschichte der Zeitschrift deutsch- und englischsprachigen – Beiträge geben einen ausführlichen Einblick in den aktuellen Stand des Forschungsfeldes.

Philosophy business not profitable in 2016

Yesterday I compiled the financial report for my business company "Spør filosofen" (Ask the philosopher). Partly due to technicalities, 2016 did not end up with any profits, since a couple of tasks carried out were paid as ordinary salary rather than to my company. Revenues remain low.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Top 0,5% in

According to I am currently in the top 0,5% of researchers there, measured in views, with some 246 unique visitors, 20 profile views and 381 document views the last 30 days. My profile page is here.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Research meeting

Today I attended a small meeting with two colleagues in preparation of a forum arranged by the UiS research department, on EU projects.

To chair session at NoSP 2017

I have agreed to chair the session "Perspectives on the Body: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Jonas, Merleau-Ponty" (2D) at the 11th conference of the Nordic Society for Phenomenology (NTNU, June 15-17), which takes place June 16th.

Friday, 26 May 2017

To discuss animal suffering at phiolosophy festival

I have agreed to appear in the philosophy festival "På kanten" [On the edge] in Kragerø May 26th in conversation with philosopher Ole Martin Moen (University of Oslo). The topic for discussion is "Ville dyrs lidelser" [The suffering of wild animals].

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Biosemiotics 10(1) published; humanities manifesto reference

Biosemiotics volume 10, issue 1 has now been published. Online issue here. Among other texts it features "How can the study of the humanities inform the study of Biosemiotics?", co-authored by me.

Don Favareau, Kalevi Kull, Gerald Ostdiek, Timo Maran, Louise Westling, Paul Cobley, Frederik Stjernfelt, Myrdene Anderson, Morten Tønnessen and Wendy Wheeler 2017. How can the study of the humanities inform the study of biosemiotics? Biosemiotics 10(1): 9–31. DOI: 10.1007/s12304-017-9287-6 (published online April 8th 2017).

Monday, 22 May 2017

Farina et al. featured in Springer campaign "Save the world"

An article published  by Biosemiotics, of which I am a Co-Editor-in-Chief, "The application of the acoustic complexity indices (ACI) to ecoacoustic event detection and identification (EEDI) modeling", is featured in a Springer campaign centered on articles that can "Change the world" (it was nominated by us editors). 

See campaign page here and the article by Almo Farina et al. here.
In order to protect biological diversity, we need to recognize it and map it properly. This article impressively demonstrates how to map acoustic diversity.

Part of technologies of government network application

I have agreed to be part of an application to establish a Norwegian research network on contested technologies of government in biodiversity management, initiated by NTNU.