Tomas Moe Skjølsvold
Background and activities
I have a masters degree in sociology from the department of sociology and political science (NTNU), with a particular focus on the institutional aspects of development projects in Malawi. In 2012 I received a PhD in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from the department of interdiciplinary studies of culture (NTNU). The thesis focussed on innovation in the Norwegian and Swedish bioenergy industries, comparing the two countries as distinct energy cultures.
Researhch interests: societal transitions and transformations
My key research interests are society-wide transformations and transitions. I aim to understand broadly how such transitions unfold, and further, how one can work to make such transitions as democratic, inclusive and responsible as possible. Underlying this is a concern for the way science, technology and society interacts, and how this tends to privilege certain voices and interests, while marginalizing others.
Much of my work on these issues deals with transitions in energy systems. I am particularly interested in the development of distributed energy systems with a high penetration of small scale renewable energy technology, and what the emergence of such systems might mean for social organization and engagement with the energy system, and with related issues such as the climate change problem. Further, I am interested in how such systems, and their associated opportunities and obstacles are interpreted by different actors across different societal arenas. How do policy makers, technology developers, incumbent actors, scientists, and technology users work to make their interests recognized across society? This leads to a focus on the many controversies associated with transitions, acknowledging that society is fraught with competing interests and visions of what a good future might be.
This interest has led me to the study of technology policy development processes, research on technology development processes, concrete design exercises as well as the use of technology.
Climate science and society
The interest for societal transformation also shines through in other research areas I am involved in, such as the study of climate scientific knowledge production and communication. One of my key interests here have been the relationship between climate science and various “publics”, and how climate scientists might work to open up and democratize their scientific practice, or at least to present a more realistic image of the working processes of scientists. A related theme is found in my interest in gender and family planning, where I am especially interested in how scientific and technological novelties might serve as enablers or repressors of new progressive practices.
I currently teach a masters course on technology, innovation and culture, and have in the past taught courses on ICT technologies and cultural change, energy and society etc. I am very happy to serve as a supervisor to interested and eager students, feel free to get in touch with interesting projects and proposals.
Scientific, academic and artistic work
Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database
- (2017) Users, design and the role of feedback technologies in the Norwegian energy transition: An empirical study and some radical challenges. Energy Research & Social Science. vol. 25.
- (2016) Ti klimalogikker - En kvalitativ analyse av klimatiltak i norsk offentlig debatt (2007-2013). Tidsskrift for samfunnsforskning. vol. 56 (3).
- (2015) Materialitet og mening i menneskets tidsalder?. Norsk Medietidsskrift. vol. 22 (4).
- (2015) Ambivalence, designing users, and user imaginaries in the European smart grid: Insights from an interdisciplinary demonstration project. Energy Research & Social Science. vol. 9.
- (2015) Embedding smart energy technology in built environments: A comparative study of four smart grid demonstration projects. Indoor and Built Environment. vol. 24 (7).
- (2015) A traveler’s guide to smart grids and the social sciences. Energy Research & Social Science. vol. 9.
- (2015) Democracy or war? The communication of the climate issue online. Nordic Journal of Science and Technology Studies. vol. 3 (1).
- (2014) Back to the futures: Retrospecting the prospects of smart grid technology. Futures : The journal of policy, planning and futures studies. vol. 63.
- (2013) Mikkel Bille og Tim Flohr Sørensen: Materialitet. En indføring i kultur, identitet og teknologi. Sosiologisk Tidsskrift. vol. 21 (3).
- (2013) What We Disagree about When We Disagree about Sustainability. Society & Natural Resources. vol. 26 (11).
- (2012) Curb Your Enthusiasm: On Media Communication of Bioenergy and the Role of the News Media in Technology Diffusion. Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture. vol. 6 (4).
- (2012) Den vanskelige energikulturen. Aftenposten (morgenutg. : trykt utg.).
- (2012) Den Nye Oljen. Dagens næringsliv.
- (2011) Tor A. Benjaminsen og Hanne Svarstad: Politisk økologi. Miljø, mennesker og makt. Sosiologisk Tidsskrift. vol. 19 (3).
- (2010) The Global Warming of Climate Science: Climategate and the Construction of Scientific Facts. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science. vol. 24 (3).
- (2010) One size fits all? Designer-institutions: Lessons from two flawed attempts in Malawi. International Journal of the Commons. vol. 4 (2).
- (2009) Achieving a balanced view? A comparative analysis of newspaper coverage of climate change in Norway and Sweden, 2002 -2008. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science (EES).
- (2015) Vitenskap, teknologi og samfunn. En introduksjon til STS. Cappelen Damm Akademisk. 2015. ISBN 978-82-02-47889-6.
Part of book/report
- (2016) Arbeidet med å lage barn: Lesbiske par og tredjepartsutfordringer i familieskaping. Reproduksjon, kjønn og likestilling i dagens Norge.
- (2016) Climate Change Communication in Norway. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science.
- (2015) The Global Warming of Climate Science: Climategate and the Construction of Scientific Facts. Climates and Cultures.
- (2013) The Cafè Community. Cafè Society.
- (2013) Building on Norway's Energy Goldmine: Policies for Expertise, Export, and Market Efficiencies. Renewable Energy Governance: Complexities and Challenges.
- (2012) Publics in the Pipeline. On Bioenergy and its Imagined Publics in Norway and Sweden. Past and Present Energy Societies. How Energy Connects Politics, Technologies and Cultures.
- (2012) Towards a new sociology of innovation. The case of bioenergy in Norway and Sweden. Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet. 2012. ISBN 978-82-471-3717-8.