Sophia Efstathiou

Researcher Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

+47 40100566 +47 73596786
Dragvoll gård, Dragvoll allé 40, Låven * 249

Background and activities

Sophia Efstathiou works in interfaces of philosophy of science, ethics and performance. Her work on science has moved from math and physics (Master of Physics, Warwick), to philosophy of science and science studies (PhD) and to applied ethics and performance philosophy since coming to NTNU –that is from relatively more abstract and cognitive-based work to including participatory and performance-based work. One of the main aims of her work is to challenge boundaries and insularity between roles, disciplines and methodologies.

Efstathiou earned her PhD in Philosophy and Science Studies in the University of California in San Diego (2009), writing on The use of race as a variable in biomedical research, under the supervision of Nancy Cartwright FBA. Sophia has worked as an embedded humanist in several projects in the life sciences. Her work in philosophy of science has articulated an analogy between found art and “found science”, claiming that everyday ideas can be transfigured into scientific ones by being embedded into scientific cultural epistemic spaces. Efstathiou has taught final year Philosophy undergraduate courses on Philosophy of Race (UC San Diego) and Philosophy, Science and Race (at Southampton University). Her research has been awarded Max Planck, Andrew White and NSF grants.


Efstathiou has co-organised and contributed to academic and performance-based seminars, including to the Athens Biennale AB4, the Performance Philosophy school of Athens and the Plato Summer School in Athens with a workshop on Philosophy on our Feet.


Current projects:


Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Enzymatic Modification and Upgrading of Marine Polysaccharides MARPOL; (PI: Prof Bjørn Myskja) Pursuing empirical, historical and analytic research. We are investigating methodological, conceptual and ethical issues regarding the enzymatic modification of seaweed and crustacean-based materials, pursued in collaboration with the seaweed industry in Norway

Caring for Participants in Animal Research  Contributing with teaching and research on ethical and methodological issues to do with animal research ethics and specifically our responsibilities towards researchers working with animals.


Past projects:

  • 2011-2014 Crossover Research: Well-Constructed Systems Biology (PI: Rune Nydal) Pursued embedded philosophical and performance-based research on the impact of computer-based information and knowledge management for systems biology and the life sciences.

  • October 2013 performer in the Athens Biennale. Invited performance ‘Ideobics’; presented also in the Performance Philosophy School of Athens (March 2014). The performance is based on combining ideas in holistic neurobiology with new age positive thinking to devise a set of bodily exercises that are aimed to accompany and reinforce positive ideas; enhancing our life in ideas, or ideobics as a counterpart to aerobics.

  • October –November 2014 Interpreter in TIno Seghal´s artistic piece This Progress, in the Roman Agora in Athens. The performance included intercepting visitors who came to the Roman Agora ancient site in Athens and beginning a philosophical conversation with them choreographed to go through the ancient ruins. Key topics I initiated discussion on were: what is the difference between knowledge and information, do we live many lives, is being in love a quest to have something always and forever.

  • 2009-2011 Research Fellow in Philosophy –University of Southampton: Pursued embedded philosophical research with complexity scientists and social scientists working to understand how ageing and migration impact UK needs and resources in health and social care.



Durham University, Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society, Workshop on Utilitarianism and Medicine: Past and Present Perspectives, Use your mind: Exercises in positive thinking from the early 20th century until now, 05/2016 

Center for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences (CELL)University of Hannover, Explicating Ethics: The case of animal research ethics, 10/2015

Philosophy Seminar Series, University of Kassel, Facing Animals, 10/2015

VitForum Trondheim, Is it Possible to Give Scientific Solutions to Grand Challenges?, 05/2015

FELASA/AAALAC Working Group on Harm-Benefit Analysis, ‘Ethical Principles in the Use of Animals in Research: From Implicit to Explicit’, Siri Granum Carson and Sophia Efstathiou, Bergen, 04/2014

Cambridge University, Philosophy of Science Seminar Series (CamPoS), How we Manage to Manage 'Knowledge': Building Systems Biology Infrastructures, 02/2014

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications