Background and activities
The ScienceHumanities research group at Department of teacher education, NTNU
The ScienceHumanities research group applies perspectives from the humanities and the social sciences to the study of natural science (including science in school) as a discipline and cultural practice, past and present. We study, among other things, the history of science and science education, the (re)presentation of science in textbooks and how the Nature of Science (NOS) is taught in the classroom, cultures of writing, students’ understanding of science, and practical experiments in science teaching.
I hold an MSc in chemistry/chemistry education (1998) and a PhD in chemistry education/history of chemistry (2005), both from NTNU. My research interests include the history of 20th-century chemistry in Norway, technical-chemical education in Norway, radioactivity and nuclear science, the periodic system, the material culture of chemistry, women in chemistry, collaborative couples in the sciences, chemistry textbooks, 19th- and 20th-century teaching tools and practices, small-scale experiments in chemistry education, and writing cultures and practices in science.
Collective volume on the Nature of Scientific Discovery:
Collective volume edited by Annette Lykknes and Brigitte Van Tiggelen (World Scientific, 2021)
History of science is full of examples of scientific discoveries, priority disputes related to such discoveries, and discussions on what aspects of a discovery that qualify for credit. In textbooks and popular accounts, however, discoveries are often presented as clear-cut and a point for sudden change of thought (or even as decisive for paradigm shifts), while insight into the context in which the discovery took place, the time involved in developing new knowledge, and the contributions by a range of actors of different rank, is often omitted.
This volume will focus on chemical elements and will offer well researched case studies. Questions we seek to shed light on include: How the discovery process can be reconstituted through historical documentation, how one (or more) ‘discoverers’ found their place in popular historical accounts, and what stage in a discovery constitutes the ‘discovery’. Indeed, we want to stress that discovery is a collective process and the result of narratives that are context dependent as they occur in specific time place and social settings.
The International of the Periodic System 2019 (IYPT2019)
In December 2017 the United Nations (UN) General Assembly declared 2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. UNESCO, scientific societies, educational and research institutions, and other organisations came together for the IYPT. The activities related to the IYPT at NTNU were coordinated by the ScienceHumanities research group, and supported by the Department of Teacher Education, the Faculty of Natural Sciences (and its Departments of Chemistry, Material Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Biotechnology and Food Science), and the Royal Norwegian Society for Sciences and Letters. Collaborators included The Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) and the Science Center in Trondheim (Vitensenteret).
A variety of activities were organised, for example Stjernestøv (“Stardust”), a “chemistry van” which has been equipped with samples of the chemical elements visiting schools in the provinces of Trøndelag; a periodic table app (currently in development); a scientific anthology, two special issues of journals, and articles; a popular science book and lectures for the general public; a web site; and two exhibitions at the Natural Science Library at NTNU, all covered variously by the press. Overall, the activities have aimed to disseminate knowledge on chemistry in general, to make sense of the periodic system and its elements in particular, and to use the history of the periodic system to show that science is a multifaceted, complex and collaborative pursuit, rather than the stand-alone achievement of individual geniuses.
- Unni Eikeseth and Annette Lykknes. Periodesystemet: Fra alkymi til kjernekjemi (Museumsforlaget, 2019) [shortlisted for NTNU literature prize]
- Annette Lykknes and Brigitte Van Tiggelen (eds.). The Periodic System: The (Multiple) Values of an Icon: Introduction. Special issue of Centaurus (2019) [in press]
- Brigitte Van Tiggelen, Annette Lykknes and Luis Moreno-Martinez (eds.). The Periodic System: A History of Shaping and Sharing. Special issue of Substantia (2019)
- Annette Lykknes and Brigitte Van Tiggelen (eds.). Women in their Element: Selected Women’s Contributions to the Periodic System (World Scientific, 2019)
- Unni Eikeseth m.fl. Hvordan bygger man en verden? Et hefte om grunnstoffer og periodesystemet
- Brigitte Van Tiggelen and Annette Lykknes. Celebrate the women behind the periodic system. Nature 565 (2019)
- Articles (in Norwegian) about the periodic system and our activities in the chemistry journal Kjemi
- Articles (in Norwegian) about the periodic system in the teacher’s journal Naturfag
Members of the research group:
- Annette Lykknes (chair)
- Unni Eikeseth
- Jonas Persson
- Per-Odd Eggen
- Jesper Aagaard Petersen
- Festo Kayima¨
- Helena Bichão
- Pål Kvello
- Sofie Areljung, Umeå University
- Martin Bilek, Charles University
- Gultekin Cakmakci, Hacettepe University
- Brigitte Van Tiggelen, Science History Institute
Mirtachew T. Ali: "Development and Use of Low-Cost Locally Available Instructional Materials as a Vehicle for Enhancing the Quality of High School Chemistry Education in Ethiopia"
Ethegebreal Aregehagn: "Improving the Learning of Geometrical Optics with Multiple Representations"
Madelene Losvik Berntsen: "Nature of Science in Chemistry Teaching"
Synne Mogstad Høivik: "Teachers' Perception of Critical Thinking in Science"
Jørgen Hage: "Science Students Reflections on Media Articles"
Recent master theses:
- Synne Apold Korsbrekke on students' understanding of atoms and molecules
- Birgitte Fisketjøn on writing argumentative texts on acids and bases
- Siri Leirbekk Mjøsund on nature of science and the laboratory report
- Hege Sletten on nature of science in science textbooks 8-10
- Kristine Fjelldal Sunde on teachers' use of questions during laboratory experiments
- Aleksander Knutsen on the use of history of science to teach the nature of science (NOS)
Scientific, academic and artistic work
A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database
- (2020) The Chemistry Professor as Consultant at the Norwegian Institute of Technology, 1910–1930. Ambix. vol. 67 (3).
- (2020) The Periodic System: The (Multiple) Values of an Icon. Centaurus. vol. 61 (4).
- (2020) A Tale of Resilience: The Periodic Table after Radioactivity and the Discovery of the Neutron. Centaurus. vol. 61 (4).
- (2019) Ellen Gleditsch: Woman Chemist in IUPAC’s Early History. Chemistry International. vol. 41 (3).
- (2019) The Periodic System and the Nature of Science: The History of the Periodic System in Spanish and Norwegian Secondary School Textbooks. Substantia. vol. 3 (2).
- (2019) Celebrate the women behind the periodic table. Nature. vol. 565.
- (2019) Las mujeres de la tabla periódica. Investigacion y Ciencia.
- (2018) Vitenskap for politikk - Om bidrag til matkontroll og matforsyning. Norsk Statsvitenskapelig Tidsskrift. vol. 34 (4).
- (2017) Relationships between academia, state and Industry in the field of food and nutrition: The Norwegian chemist Sigval Schmidt-Nielsen (1877-1956) and his professional roles, 1900-1950. Centaurus. vol. 58 (4).
- (2015) ‘Named small but doing great’: an investigation of small-scale chemistry experimentation for effective undergraduate practical work. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education. vol. 15 (3).
- (2014) SMALL-SCALE CHEMISTRY FOR A HANDS-ON APPROACH TO CHEMISTRY PRACTICAL WORK IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS:EXPERIENCES FROM ETHIOPIA. African Journal of Chemical Education. vol. 4 (3).
- (2012) Reconstructing Iconic Experiments in Electrochemistry: Experiences from a History of Science Course. Science & Education. vol. 21 (2).
- (2005) Ellen Gleditsch: Duty and Responsibility in a research and teaching career, 1916 - 1946. Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences. vol. 36 (1).
- (2005) Ellen Gleditsch: Duty and Responsibility in a research and teaching career, 1916-1946. Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences. vol. 36 (1).
- (2004) Appreciated abroad! Depreciated at home? The Career of a Radiochemist in Norway: Ellen Gleditsch (1879-1968). Isis. vol. 95.
- (2004) Struggles and Achievements. Ellen Gleditsch (1879-1968): Norwegian Female Radiochemist. Studies in the History of Sciences and Humanities = Práze z dejin vedy. vol. 13.
- (2004) Ellen Gleditsch: Pioneer Woman in Radiochemistry. Physics in Perspective. vol. 6.
- (2003) Arsenic: Not So Evil After All?. Journal of Chemical Education. vol. 80 (5).
- (2019) PERIODESYSTEMET Fra alkymi til kjernekjemi. Museumsforlaget AS. 2019. ISBN 9788283050752.
- (2019) Women in their Element: Selected Women’s Contributions to the Periodic System. World Scientific. 2019. ISBN 9789811206283.