Background and activities

Professor of philosophy


Director of NTNU's Programme for Applied Ethics since 2001, member of the management group

of NTNU Sustainability since 2014.


Vice-chairman of  NTNU's Research ethical committee since 2014.


Research interests:

Ethics and political philosophy; applied ethics/research ethics; environmental ethics; information-

and communication ethics; multicultural conflicts; democracy/fundamentalism.


Current research projects (2012 -):

  • FORFOOD - Frogs, fuel, finance or food? Cultures, values, ethics, arguments and justifications in the mamagement of agricultural land, 2013-2016, funded by NRC, SAMKUL, lead by Centre for rural Research. Work package 4: Ethical assessments in the management of agricultural land, led by May Thorseth.
  • BIOSMART - Managing the trasition to a "smart" bioeconomy, funded by NRC, BIONÆR 2015-2018. Lead by Centre for Rural Research. May Thorseth partner of wp 4: Social acceptaility - ethics and outcomes.
  • BINGO - Bringing Innovation to ongoing water management - a better future under climate change. EU - Horizon 2020, May thorseth Ethics advisor of the project.
  • ISP-FIDE. Project: Applied Ethics: Technology and Governance of Health and Natural Resource, Norwegian research council, 2012-2015.
  • ENRI Future - Rights to a Green Future, Uncertainty, Intergenerational human Rights and Pathways to Realisation, an ESF project running from 2011-2015. One wg lead by May Thorseth: Investigating the main psychological and institutional obstacles to a sustainable politics.
  • Part of the expert panel of the EU project The Onlife Initiative Concept Reengineering Exercise: rethinking public spaces in the digital transition, an EU expert panel working on future policy in the digital transition realm, 2012.



Scientific, academic and artistic work

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

Journal publications


  • Thorseth, May; Birnbacher, Dieter. (2015) The Politics of Sustainability. Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge. 2015. ISBN 978-1-138-85430-7.
  • Floridi, Luciano; Thorseth, May. (2014) The Onlife Manifesto. Springer. 2014. ISBN 978-3-319-04092-9.
  • Thorseth, May; Ess, Charles. (2011) Trust and Virtual Worlds. Contemporary Perspectives. Peter Lang Publishing Group. 2011. ISBN 978-1-4331-0923-2.
  • Thorseth, May; Ess, Charles. (2009) Technology in a Multicultural and Global Society. Worldwide Communication Online. Lambert Academic Publishing. 2009. ISBN 978-3-8383-0331-4.

Part of book/report

  • Thorseth, May. (2015) Limitations to democratic governance of natural resources. The Politics of Sustainability. Philosophical Perspectives.
  • Thorseth, May. (2015) May Thorseth: Commentary of the Manifesto. The Onlife Manifesto: Being Human in a Hyperconnected Era.
  • Thorseth, May. (2015) On Tolerance and Fictitious Publics. The Onlife Manifesto: Being Human in a Hyperconnected Era.
  • Ess, Charles; Thorseth, May. (2011) Trust and Virtual Worlds. Introduction. Trust and Virtual Worlds. Contemporary Perspectives.
  • Thorseth, May. (2011) Global communication online against fundamentalist knowledge offline?. Fundamentalism in the Modern World. Volume 2.
  • Thorseth, May. (2008) The Ethics of Global Communication Online. Handbook of Research on Technoethics.


  • Alvarez, Allen Andrew; Thorseth, May. (2015) Intergenerational justice and our obligations to future generations: Towards environmental rights in land use policy. Grand challenges and our obligations to future generations: FINAL CONFERENCE OF THE ISP-FIDE PROJECT Applied Ethics Technology and Governance of Health and Natural Resources ; 2015-05-21 - 2015-05-22.
  • Thorseth, May. (2015) BINGO Ethics. Kick-off meeting for Bringing INnovation to onGOing water management - a better future for climate change - BINGO . Horizon 2020 project BINGO; Lisbon. 2015-07-10 - 2015-07-10.
  • Thorseth, May. (2015) De vanskelige valgene - om bærekraft og etikk. Halvdagskonfersanse i regi av NTNU Bærekraft . NTNU Bærekraft; Trondheim, Suhmhuset. 2015-06-05 - 2015-06-05.
  • Thorseth, May. (2015) Ethics and supervision. PhD supervision seminar NTNU . NTNU organisasjon og ledelse, HR-avdelingen; Trondheim, Radisson Blue Royal Garden Hotel. 2015-11-06 - 2015-11-06.
  • Thorseth, May. (2015) Etisk blikk på sårbare grupper og god vitenskapelig praksis. Forskningsseminar ved RKBU . Reg.Kunnsk.senter for Barn og Unge, Medisinsk fakultet, NTNU; Trondheim, RKBU. 2015-10-30 - 2015-10-30.
  • Thorseth, May. (2015) Forskningsetikk på 1,2,3. Instituttseminar for Institutt for språk og litteratur, NTNU . Institutt for språk og litteratur (ISL), NTNU; Værnes, SAS-hotellet. 2015-10-22 - 2015-10-22.
  • Thorseth, May. (2015) Research ethics - Scientific integrity and ethical judgment, PhD seminar SVT, 2015. PhD seminar SVT faculty 2015 . SVT faculty, NTNU; Trondeheim, Scandic Nidelven Hotel. 2015-11-04 - 2015-11-04.
  • Thorseth, May. (2015) Research ethics and sustainability. Breakfast seminar for Molecular systems biology, NTNU . Dept. of biology, Molecular systems biology, NTNU; Trondheim, NTNU, Gløshaugen. 2015-10-22 - 2015-10-22.
  • Thorseth, May. (2015) Tortur: Misbruk av psykologisk kunnskap?. Debattmøte . Psykologidagene 2015; NTNU Studentersamfunnet, Klubben. 2015-03-12 - 2015-03-12.
  • Thorseth, May; Bailey, Jennifer L.. (2015) Value and Growth: Rethinking basic concepts. Nordic Environmental and Social Science coconference 2015 (NESS 2015) . NESS 2015; Trondheim, NTNU, Gløshaugen. 2015-06-10 - 2015-06-10.
  • Thorseth, May; Bailey, Jennifer L.. (2015) Value and Growth: Rethinking basic concepts in Lockean Liberalism. American Political Science Annual Meeting, APSA 2015 . APSA 2015; San Francisco. 2015-09-04 - 2015-09-04.
  • Thorseth, May; Hjorthol, Lars Martin. (2015) Den vanskelige rettferdigheten., ISSN 0805-6285 [Internett]. 2015-11-23.
  • Thorseth, May. (2014) Etikkportalen ved NTNU. Instituttlederseminar for ledere ved NTNU . NTNU, ledelsen m/rektor; Dokkhuset, Trondheim. 2014-06-17 - 2014-06-17.
  • Thorseth, May. (2014) Obstacles to Sustainable Development in Global Contexts. Forelesning East China Normal University . East China Normal University, Philosophy Department; Shanghai. 2014-04-23 - 2014-04-23.
  • Thorseth, May. (2014) Profesjonsetikk for studenter?. Bioteknologiens tidsalder: 12 smakebiter . Bioteknologinemnda/ Volvox & Alkymisten/ Tekna Biotek; Trondheim, Studentersamfunnet. 2014-02-11 - 2014-02-11.
  • Thorseth, May. (2014) Public Reason and Limits of Tolerance. Forelesning East China Normal University . East China Normal University, Department of Philosophy; Shangai. 2014-04-21 - 2014-04-21.
  • Thorseth, May. (2014) Responsible petroleum research: an ethical oxymoron?. CESAER annual meeting, Task force RRI . CESAER; Tallin, Tallin University of Technology. 2014-10-15 - 2014-10-17.