Sverker Sörlin

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Sverker Sörlin
Sörlin 2010
Sörlin 2010
Born6 August 1956 (1956-08-06) (age 63)
OccupationSwedish academic

Sverker Sörlin, born 6 August 1956 in Åsele, Västerbotten, is a Swedish historian of ideas, professor in environmental history, and writer.[1]


Sörlin has a PhD in the history of ideas from Umeå University from 1988. In 1993 he assumed the first chair in environmental history in Scandinavia, also at Umeå University. Since 2007 he is professor of environmental history at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm.[2] He's had an adjunct position at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (2005–2012),[3] and visiting positions at University of California Berkeley (1993), University of Cambridge (2004–2005), University of Oslo (2006), University of Cape Town (2012–2013), and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University (2013–2014).[4] In 2011 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by University of Turku, Finland.

Sörlin was Associate Director for the Center for History of Science in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 1988–1990, and the founding director of the Swedish Institute for Studies in Education and Research, SISTER (2000–2003). 2006–2009 he chaired the Swedish committee for the International Polar Year. 1994–1998 and 2005–2009 he served on the Swedish Government's Research Advisory Board, and he is currently on the Government's Environmental Research board.

Sörlin has published in the fields of history of science, environmental history, the history of forestry, human ecology, environmental humanities, European history, research policy, innovations studies, and the history and politics of higher education. He frequently appears in Swedish media, and also writes popular science and narrative non-fiction. He has received several awards, including Augustpriset (2004) and the Lars Salvius award (2012).[5]

Selected books (in English)[edit]

  • Denationalizing Science: The Contexts of International Scientific Practice, with Elisabeth Crawford & Terry Shinn (1993)
  • Sustainability – the Challenge: People, Power, and the Environment, with L. Anders Sandberg (1998)
  • Narrating the Arctic: A Cultural History of Nordic Scientific Practices, with Michael T. Bravo (2002)
  • Knowledge Society vs. Knowledge Economy, with Hebe Vessuri (2007)
  • Nature’s End: Environment and History, with Paul Warde (2009)
  • Science, Geopolitics and Culture in the Polar Region - Norden Beyond Borders (2013)
  • The Future of Nature: Documents of Global Change, with Libby Robin och Paul Warde (2013)