Background and activities

Professor of philosophy

Director of NTNU's Programme for Applied Ethics since 2001.

NTNU Sustainability, member of the management group and leader of Ethical perspectives since 2014, core partner since 2017.

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

President DKNVS (Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters) from 2020, leader of humanities class humanistisk klasse and member of the board since 2018.

Etisk råd for forsvarssektoren (Ethical council of the defence sector of Norway), member since 2019.

Previous member of  REK (Regional committee of medical and health care research ethics) and NEM (national committee of medical and health care research ethics), clinical ethics committee of St. Olav Hospital (Trondheim), and Bioteknologirådet (bioetical research council).


Research interests: Ethics and political philosophy; applied ethics/research ethics; environmental ethics; information- and communication ethics; artificial intelligence; multicultural conflicts; democracy/fundamentalism.


Current and recent research projects:

  • ULTIMATE – indUstry water-utiliTy symbiosis for a sMarter wATer society 1 June 2020 (30 May 2024) under Horizon 2020. May Thorseth is Ethics Officer and member of Project Management Team, and member of WP 4: Examine the socio-political and governance context for WSIS.



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


  • 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.