Background and activities

I am a senior researcher at the Centre for Technology and Society in the Department for Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture at the Norwegian University for Science and Technology (NTNU). My background is in Political Sciences, and Science and Technology Studies (STS). Since I started in academia with a PhD project eleven years ago, my research has explored the governance of science and technology, with a focus on nano- and biotechnology research, sustainable energy and society, and interdisciplinarity. I am particularly interested in the production of knowledge and in democratic decision-making. My research is based on qualitative methods. My approach draws on interpretive (policy) analysis, concepts from STS (such as co-production of science and society, and actor-network theory), and political discourse theory.

After completing my PhD at the University of Vienna, I started in 2011 as a postdoc in the project “Socially Robust Solar Cells (SoRoSol)” at NTNU. In spring 2018, I finalized the research project "Performing ELSA. Governance of and governmentality in nanotechnology and biotechnology research". I am now working with my research project “Res Publica. Responsibility, practice, and the public good across Digital Life”. This project is a concomitant research project to the newly founded, national Centre for Digital Life Norway. Since 2016, I have been a group leader for "Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)" at this center. In 2017, I was enrolled in NTNU's Outstanding Academic Fellows Programme.


Comissions of trust

Chairman for "Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)"  group within NTNU's biotechnology research

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

Journal publications

Part of book/report


  • Johansen, Finn-Eirik; Brautaset, Trygve; Aune, Marie Hjelmseth; Patriksson, Alexandra; Falkenberg, Liv Eggset; Kleppe, Rune; Dick, Gunnar; Strand, Berit Løkensgard; Eijsink, Vincent; Røyne, Anja; Goksøyr, Anders; Svendsen, John Sigurd Mjøen; Fyhn, Marianne; Vik, Jon Olav; Wentzel, Alexander; Aksnes, Astrid; Bruheim, Per; Carlsen, Sven Magnus; Åm, Heidrun. (2018) Centre for Digital Life Norway - Annual report 2017. 2018.
  • Åm, Heidrun. (2011) Regulating the Unknown: Governing Nanotechnologies by a Logic of Pre-emption. 2011.