He graduated from the Department of Philosophy and Sociology at the University of Warsaw. In 2011, he defended his doctoral dissertation Trauma and Public Memory: The Legacy of World War Two in Contemporary Poland. He lectures at the University of Warsaw and at the Medical University of Warsaw. His research interests include social movements, gendered nationalism, memory studies and sociology of knowledge. He is author of a major study comparing antisemitic and anti-gay discourses in contemporary Poland. He translated into Polish books by Immanuel Wallerstein, Étienne Balibar, Shmuel Eisenstadt and Judith Butler.
Ostolski was an environmental activist since the early 1990s. He is a member of the left-wing milieu Krytyka Polityczna since the establishment of the group in 2002. He is also a member of the Poland's Green Party, and in 2013-2016 its co-leader (first with Agnieszka Grzybek, then with Małgorzata Tracz). He left the party in February 2019.
- New leaders for Poland's Zieloni offer a new political vision Europeangreens.eu, 6 March 2013
- Adam Ostolski Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine Nauka-polska.pl
- Biographical note in: Adam Ostolski, Pressing Juice out of the Brussels Cabbage, www.boell.eu, 20 December 2012
- Les écologistes sont les héros polonais du XXIe siecle Archived March 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, La Revue Durable, No. 47, January 2013.
- adamostolski.natemat.pl natemat.pl/
- What Is Democracy? www.ressler.at