“Making Sense of Science”, SAPEA event in Oslo

November 4, 2019, 11.30–16.00. The House of Literature, Wergelandsveien 29, 0167 Oslo.

Evidence-informed policy: a Norwegian perspective

A seminar hosted by Academia Europaea Bergen Hub assesses the findings of the SAPEA report ‘Making sense of science for policy’ and reflects on what insights might be applied to science advice in Norway

The Academia Europaea Bergen Hub has hosted a successful seminar in Oslo, in collaboration with the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.  The seminar, held on 4th November at the House of Literature, assessed the findings of the recent SAPEA report, Making sense of science for policy and reflected on what insights might be applied to the science advice process in Norway.

Prof Eystein Jansen, Director of the AE Bergen Hub, welcomes all to the seminar
Prof Eystein Jansen, Director of the AE Bergen Hub, welcomes all to the seminar

The seminar was designed around two linked sessions, one focused on the European dimension of evidence-informed policy and the second examining Norwegian policymaking.

Professor Eystein Jansen, Director of the Bergen Hub, welcomed everyone to the seminar and emphasised the timeliness of the topic under discussion. Professor Ole Petersen, Director of the Cardiff Hub (which coordinated the SAPEA report) gave an introduction to the European Science Advice Mechanism and the role played by academies within it.

Session 1: ‘Making sense of science for policy’ Evidence Review Report

Professor Jeroen van der Sluijs (Bergen), a member of the SAPEA Working Group, presented the key findings of the SAPEA report, with a thought-provoking response provided by Professor Silvio Funtowicz (Bergen) and a lively debate with the audience, with skilful moderation by Professor Matthias Kaiser (Bergen).
Please see the article published in Forskningspolitikk: https://www.fpol.no/gviken/ 
Themes that came up included:

  • The issue of bias and the underrepresentation of certain social groups within science
  • The role of the humanities in evidence-informed policymaking
  • The potential for including different types of knowledge and extended peer communities in science advice

An interesting case study came from Finland, which is trialling a new approach to science advice, drawing on insights from the European Commission’s Science Advice Mechanism.  Professor Risto Nieminen, President of the Finnish Academy, spoke of the contribution that could be made by academies to the design and operation of such a system.

Professors Ole Petersen, Jeroen van der Sluijs, Risto Nieminen and Silvio Funtowicz during the panel discussion in session 1
Professors Ole Petersen, Jeroen van der Sluijs, Risto Nieminen and Silvio Funtowicz during the panel discussion in session 1

Session 2: Science advice in Norway

The second half of the seminar put science advice in Norway under the spotlight.  Professor Oystein Hov (Norwegian Academy) gave several examples of success and failure of science advice in Norway.  Kyrre Lekve (Simula) spoke of two contrasting relationships experienced by science advisers, one with civil servants, the other with politicians.

The closing discussion between the panel and the audience, also moderated by Matthias Kaiser, gave rise to further reflections on science advice in Norway.  They included:

Look out for a full report on the seminar, to be published in the coming weeks.

Prof Oystein Hov, Prof Torbjørn Digernes, Kyrre Lekve and Prof Matthias Kaiser during the panel discussion in session 2
Prof Oystein Hov, Prof Torbjørn Digernes, Kyrre Lekve and Prof Matthias Kaiser during the panel discussion in session 211th November 2019. For further information please contact Louise Edwards, Knowledge Hub Manager EdwardsL31@cardiff.ac.uk

The Arctic has entered a new phase of abrupt climate change

Saturday 12 October, 11.30-12.15. Viðey, Harpa Second Level, Reykjavik, Iceland

Organized by University of Bergen, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research & Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge hub.


  • Eystein Jansen, Professor, University of Bergen/Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research: Are Ongoing Climate Change in the Arctic Abrupt in the Perspective of Past Abrupt Changes?
  • Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen, Professor, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen: What are the Expected Future Changes in Arctic and Greenland Climates in the Future Due to Continued Manmade Climate Forcing
  • Eystein Jansen/Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen: How Vulnerable is the Greenland Ice Sheet?

Read more at Arctic Circle Conference conference website

Event Horizon Telescope and the portrait of a black hole

June 7, 2019, 14:00. Auditorium B, Allégaten 66, Bergen, Norway.

How was the famous image of the black hole made? Tuomas Savolainen presents the process and science leading up to capturing a glimpse of M87.

Tuomas Savolainen will present the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, describe how the now famous image of M87 was made, and discuss future prospects for studying black holes at event horizon scale resolution.

The Event Horizon Telescope is a global, very long baseline interferometry array operating at 1.3 mm wavelength. The combination of a short observing wavelength and long intercontinental baselines between the participating telescopes allows the EHT to make images at exquisite resolution of 20 microarcseconds – enough to resolve event horizon scale structures around the supermassive black holes in the centre of our galaxy, and in the centre of the radio galaxy M87.

The first EHT observations with an array that had potential to image these black holes took place in April 2017. After almost two years of data processing and analysis, we can now report success. The EHT has successfully imaged the radio source in the centre of M87 and the image reveals a bright, asymmetric ring of emission encompassing a central depression in brightness.

The image is consistent with the predictions for a shadow of a Kerr black hole in General Relativity. The observed properties of the ring are in close agreement with a gravitationally lensed photon ring of a 6.5 billion solar mass black hole.

The lecture is organized by the Department of Physics and Technology and Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub.

The lecture starts at 14.15. Refreshments will be served from 14.00.

Tuomas Savolainen

Tuomas Savolainen is an Academy Research Fellow with the Aalto Universitys Anne Lähteenmäki Group and Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, as well as an Academy Research Fellow with the Metsähovi Radio Observatory.

He is one of the over 200 researchers part of the international Event Horizon Telescopecollaboration, the group responsible for the very first image of a black hole, released April 10, 2019.

International Workshop on Collectivity

September 14-19. Kőszeg, Hungary.

The workshop is organized jointly by the Institute for Advanced Studies, Kőszeg (iASK) and the Energy and Sustainable Development Activity of the Academia Europaea Bergen Hub (AE-B), between Sept. 14-19, 2019, in Kőszeg. (Sept. 13 and 20 are the planned travel days.)

Web pages:

Kőszeg (Video 1080 530MB) is a small medieval city, it is about 1 hour drive South of Vienna Airport (VIE, Schwechat), and about 3 hours by train or car from Budapest.

The topic of the workshop is wide, from fundamental research, through applied research and technology, and the effect of these on social sciences.
For example, relativistic heavy ion physics, or nano sciences, their applications for nuclear fusion or fission, and finally the impact of these advances on sustainable development and its connections to energy and natural sciences.

Conference registration and participation management is via the CERN indico website.

25th International Conference on Types for Proofs and Programs

Oslo, Norway, 11 – 14 June 2019. The conference will be held at Ingeniørenes Hus Møtesenter, located centrally in Vika in Oslo.

The TYPES meetings are a forum to present new and on-going work in all aspects of type theory and its applications, especially in formalised and computer assisted reasoning and computer programming. The meetings from 1990 to 2008 were annual workshops of a sequence of five EU funded networking projects. Since 2009, TYPES has been run as an independent conference series.

The TYPES areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • foundations of type theory and constructive mathematics;
  • applications of type theory;
  • dependently typed programming;
  • industrial uses of type theory technology;
  • meta-theoretic studies of type systems;
  • proof assistants and proof technology;
  • automation in computer-assisted reasoning;
  • links between type theory and functional programming;
  • formalizing mathematics using type theory

We encourage talks proposing new ways of applying type theory. In the spirit of workshops, talks may be based on newly published papers, work submitted for publication, but also work in progress.

The conference is partially supported by COST Action CA15123 EUTypes, the Research Council of Norway, and Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub Region Bergen.

Homotopy Type Theory and Univalent Foundations

Oslo, Norway, 12 – 14 June 2019. The conference will be held at Ingeniørenes Hus Møtesenter, located centrally in Vika in Oslo.

Homotopy Type Theory and Univalent Foundations combines ideas and techniques from algebraic topology, logic, higher categories and computer science. As a fairly young subject it is still under dramatic development and sees vibrant activity.

The workshop aims at bringing together researchers spanning the width of the field, complementing the concurrent TYPES conference with which it will share some plenary sessions.

The workshop is organised jointly by the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and the University of Bergen (UiB). With financial support from Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub Region Bergen.

Does climate mitigation trump other concerns?

Balancing mitigation actions and their impacts. Dilemmas in implementing rapid transformation of the energy system to reach the Paris targets are many. Our expert panel will present and discuss major challenges and possible conflicts between the SDG goals.

About the meeting

The Meeting was held in conjunction with the 2019 Annual national conference on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a collaboration between Academia Europaea and the UiB Program for Climate and Energy transformation. We received a broad audience of academics, people from the energy sector, NGOs and the general public. The meeting took place at University of Bergen, in the University Aula, Museplass 3, on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 from 12.15-17.00 (Day “Zero” of the SDG Conference)

The speakers are leading academics working on the climate change and mitigation areas with broad expertise in energy systems, climate action, biodiversity and ecosystems, energy transition, climate policies in Europe, USA and China and nuclear energy.

The speakers presented major challenges and possible conflicts between the SDG goals, followed by a moderated panel discussion and questions from the audience.



It is urgent for society to reduce CO2-emissions, and to achieve the Paris targets. The available remaining carbon budget which needs to be kept to be within the Paris targets of 1.5 or 2 degrees warming above pre-industrial levels is very limited. This calls for unprecedented and extremely rapid changes in energy production and consumption, as well as other mitigating efforts. The urgency of the energy transformation requires a major restructuring and a quest for alternatives to fossil fuel based energy.

Does climate thus trump other concerns in balancing mitigation actions and their impacts? Does this imply that all renewable energy production should be welcomed? Can renewable energy sometimes come with a too high cost with respect to biodiversity, food supply and health? Do we need nuclear energy to meet the Paris targets?

When strong mitigation policies are implemented, we experience conflicting concerns. The event will discuss such conflicting issues. How far can we go to reach the climate mitigation goals, and how can we balance concerns and impacts while working towards SDG Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG Goal 2 – Zero Hunger, SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being and SDG 13 – Climate Action?

The speakers are leading academics working on the climate change and mitigation areas with broad expertise in energy systems, climate action, biodiversity and ecosystems, energy transition, climate policies in Europe, USA and China and nuclear energy.

The speakers presented major challenges and possible conflicts between the SDG goals, followed by a moderated panel discussion and questions from the audience.


Norges tekniske vitenskapsakademi (NTVA), Tekna og Academia Europaea inviterer til foredrag

Ny teknologi endrer media

Falske nyheter. Forsider styrt av algoritmer. Robotjournalister. Kunstig intelligens og stemmestyring. Ansvarlig redaktør, direktør Gard Steiro forteller i denne forelesningen hvordan VG skal møte fremtiden.

Norske redaktører bekymrer seg ikke lenger bare for fallende opplag. Nye teknologiske skift er i ferd med å endre både mediebransjen og journalistikken fullstendig. Midt i denne stormen står VG. Tabloidavisen ligger helt i front i den digitale utviklingen. Ansvarlig redaktør Gard Steiro forteller hvordan VG skal møte fremtiden.

Det ble satt av tid til påfølgende spørsmål fra salen. Geir Anton Johansen fra NTVA, og dekan fra Fakultet for ingeniør- og naturvitskap ved HVL, var ordstyrer.

Tid: Tirsdag 27. november 2018 kl. 19:00-20:30.
Sted: Universitetetsaulaen i Bergen

Arrangementet var åpent for alle interesserte. 

Ocean Roundtable Discussion

The role of BlueTech clusters in futureproofing energy, food and mobility systems

Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub co-organized the Ocean Roundtable Discussion together with the marine/maritime industry clusters in the Bergen Region. The meeting was held in Norway House in Brussels on October 16, 2018.

Date: October 16, 2018 / 10:00 – 16:00
Location : Norway House / Rue Archimède 17 / 1000 Brussels, Belgium


10:30 Welcome remarks by Oda Helen Sletnes, Ambassador of Norway to the EU

10:35 Session 1 – Setting the scene

  • Felix Leinemann, Head of Unit Blue Economy Sectors, DG MARE
  • Sigi Gruber, Head of Marine Recources Unit, DG RTD
  • Andreea Strachinescu, Head of Maritime Innovation, Marine Knowledge and Innovation, DG MARE
  • Group Discussion

11:30 Session 2 – Roundtable discussion on the role of clusters in catalysing the emerging Ocean Industries and entrepreneurship

  • Owe Hagesæther, CEO GCE Subsea and Tanja Hoel, CEO NCE Seafood
  • Moderated discussion with all roundtable participants – ‘2 per intervention
    Ocean Industries vision
    The role of SMEs
    The Role of Clusters: beyond triple helix, the 5-stakeholder model

13:00 Networking lunch

14:00 Session 3 – Roundtable discussion: Ocean Education and Research

    • Research and education reps setting the context
    • Moderated discussion with all roundtable participants – ‘2 per interventio
      Research, the long-term vision
      Education and skills
      Open access, trade/offs and barriers to Growth

15:30 Summary of roundtable discussion and articulation of our common vision into a high-level statement

The Benefits of Particle Therapy in Cancer Treatment – Prof. Stephanie E. Combs

Norway is establishing particle therapy centres for cancer treatment in Oslo and Bergen. Particle therapy, in combination with molecular and digital biomarkers is revolutionizing cancer treatment. A world leading expert will present recent research and technology developements.

Professor Stephanie Combs gave a lecture on The Benefits of Particle Therapy: Individualized concepts based on biology, physics and prospective clinical trials on February 20th, 2019 in Auditorium 1, Realfagbygget.

For more information about Stephanie Combs please see: https://www.uib.no/en/matnat/124390/prof-stephanie-e-combs-benefits-particle-therapy-cancer-treatment

The lecture was organized by Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub and The Horizons Lecture Series.

The video of the lecture is available here: https://tinyurl.com/yy6txtjd

Bilde av en partikkelstrålegererator

External beam radiation therapy as the most conventional form of radiotherapy where the radiation is delivered to a particular part of the body from the outside, is a crucial component of modern oncology. Depending on the type of tumor, radiation therapy (RT) is either an essential complementary and supportive treatment before or after surgery or a clear treatment alternative to surgery. Early treatments were performed with photon radiotherapy. The photons cause damage to the cancer cell’s DNA, so the cancerous cells reproduce more slowly or die. Initially X-ray or clinical localization was used to confine the space for irradiation before a more precise photon RT with 3D-conformal planning became possible after the introduction of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The next step was the development of stereotactic RT, where the benefits of detailed imaging scans and patient immobilization developed by neurosurgery allowed a very precise targeted irradiation, mostly for tumors in the brain or spine. Further technological advances for planning radiation therapy, including intensity modulated RT have made RT even more precise. This method spares normal brain tissue and hence lowers the risk for side effects, especially for lesions that have complex shapes or are close to neighboring healthy organs.

Today, particle therapy with protons or heavier ions opens new horizons in radiation oncology. In comparison to photon RT, particle beams have specific physical and biological properties. Studies have shown that precision can be increased and the biological effect on the cancerous cells is two to three times higher. This leads to fewer side effects and enhances local control of tumors and thus survival. Clinical trials are currently underway to characterize the potential of particle beams. In Europe, the number of particle therapy centers is continuously increasing which stresses the importance of this technique for patient care and research.

These developments, in combination with molecular and digital biomarkers, have the potential to revolutionize radiation oncology and pave the way to personalized medicine.