Centre of Actionable Knowledges (AcKnowledges)

Partners and people

The AcKnowledges team forms a unique combination of varied academic, professional and policy backgrounds, with a mix of complementary perspectives.

AcKnowledges' team: Centre leader, PIs and researchers
AcKnowledges' team: Centre leader Jeroen van der Sluijs, PIs Gunilla Öberg, Scott Bremer, Siri Gloppen and Laura Maxim, and researchers Esperanza Diaz, Rachel Sieder, Jack Stilgoe, Kjetil Rommetveit and Thorvald Sirnes.
Credit, from left: 1. Liesbeth Sluiter 2. Gunilla Öberg 3. Scott Bremer 4. Eivind Senneset 5. Laura Maxim 6. UiB 7. CMI 8. Jack Stilgoe 9. UiB 10. UiB

Main content

Each of us has been working towards moving beyond disciplinary organization of knowledge, and have actively engaged with knowledge-holders and knowledge types that are often excluded from decision-making forums.

Many of us are pioneers on the now urgent transformation of knowledge production and mobilization into societal decision-making. We bring together long-standing experiences of working with citizens, vulnerable communities and neglected issues into a CoE. Several of us have followed and engaged with other knowledge systems, hybridizing the scientific ethos and ways of knowing with others’ ethos and ways of knowing, ranging from beekeepers to arctic communities. We managed to channel some of the diverse types of knowledge studied into mainstream institutional settings. Most of us are also science advisors for policy (in e.g. Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA), the EC’s Joint Research Centre, European Food Safety Authority, and the Netherlands Health Council) and have testified as expert witnesses in courts and parliaments.

Our varied academic, professional and policy backgrounds and mix of relevant perspectives that normally do not collaborate are unique. Many of us pioneer the now urgent transformation of institutionalized expertise. With our unique blend of insider and outsider perspectives we are the ideal team for devising and implementing new ways to pluralize actionable knowledge.


The Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés (LISIS) is an interdisciplinary research laboratory in science and innovations in societies. It was established in January 2015 at Université Paris-Est, to amplify and strengthen the international research center for social sciences.

LISIS brings together 35 researchers and professors and thirty PhD and postdoctoral fellows from three main interdisciplinary research disciplines: science and technology studies (STS), organization studies and digital studies.

LISIS’s activities are structured around four research axes:

• Axis 1 – Emergences and transitions

• Axis 2 – Socialisation and reappropriations of innovations

• Axis 3 – Evaluation and assessment of innovations

• Axis 4 – Analysis of digital traces of science in society

Centre leader

Professor at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities (SVT) at UiB, Jeroen van der Sluijs, has long experience in various leading roles in transdisciplinary international research projects. His work on the conceptualization of uncertainty in science for policy and on reflective approaches to the assessment of (model) quality is internationally recognized. His conceptual work on the phenomenon of uncertainty is widely cited and his various practical tools for knowledge quality assessment are now widely used in many disciplines and EU projects and on a broad range of sustainability issues. His work has significantly advanced understanding of deep uncertainty in scientific assessment of issues such as climate change and risks of new and emerging technologies. It has inspired and enabled many scholars and science–policy interface institutions around the world to develop new ways of interfacing complex science and policy-making.

Principle investigators

Professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada, Gunilla Öberg, is recognized for her ground-breaking research on chlorine biogeochemistry and her leadership in interdisciplinary research and education. She was director of the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia, Canada (2006–2011), which consistently ranks as one of the top 10 interdisciplinary environmental research centres in North America. She was the founding director of the Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research (CSPR) at Linköping University, Sweden (2004–2006), which uniquely integrates climate modelling, climate policy and social science. Her chlorine research, which started in the late 1980s, was a major reason chlorine biogeochemistry emerged as a research field. Her research in higher education investigates how to educate interdisciplinary scholars and how to teach about science for policy.

Researcher at LISIS, CRNS in France, Laura Maxim, focuses on the production, use and communication of scientific knowledge in chemical risk governance – in regulatory scientific advisory activities and in practices of innovation in green chemistry. Since 2012, she has often developed research in parallel with her activities of expertise in several advisory boards, at the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) and at European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). This dual experience of academic research and activity at the interface between science and policy allowed her to develop original, observation-based methods and tools for knowledge quality assessment and socio-political analysis of uncertainty in situations of environmental controversy, which have been published in high-quality journals and are applicable to real-life situations of expertise. She has written papers of high policy relevance, in particular on neonicotinoid insecticides and endocrine disrupters.

Researcher at SVT, UiB, Scott Bremer, works at the science–policy interface of coastal governance and climate adaptation, and studies how extra-scientific knowledges are mobilized alongside science for decision-making. His approach has been to radically extend modes of scientific practice through perspectives on ‘post-normal science’ (PNS), ‘transdisciplinarity’ and ‘knowledge co-production’. Extending science demands creative methods and he draws on a mixed toolbox including narrative analysis, citizen science, cognitive mapping, extending peer communities and art–science collaboration. Creatively designing research methods with others, in transdisciplinary settings, is a central characteristic of his work. Through his work, he has become a prominent scholar on ways of knowing and practicing climate adaptation. He has written influential articles that are changing how scholars think about knowledge co-production, and he is an expert consulted in IPCC reviews, European policy on climate services, journal editorial boards, and research project advisory boards.

Professor at the Department for Administration and Organization Theory at UiB, Siri Gloppen, has extensive experience leading international, interdisciplinary research teams. Over the last 10 years, she has been the PI for 6 multi-year projects, acquired through competitive grants and involving researchers from institutions on 5 continents and from a range of disciplines. The projects focus on the role of rights, law and courts in political change and social development. Commitment to excellent, interdisciplinary, research addressing urgent global challenges is at the centre of the projects. Interdisciplinarity and close integration of research, practice and learning are also at the core of the Centre on Law & Social Transformation (LawTransform) in Bergen of which she is the founding director. Her main contribution to the field of socio-legal studies is the conceptualization, theorization and empirical study of the use of law and legal institutions as a political tool and strategy for social change.


Dr Jack Stilgoe is an associate professor in science and technology studies at University College London where he researches the governance of emerging technologies. He is principal investigator of the ESRC Driverless Futures project (2019-2021). This project is looking to anticipate the politics of self-driving cars. He worked with EPSRC and ESRC to develop a framework for responsible innovation, which is now being used by the Research Councils. Among other publications, he is the author of ‘Who’s Driving Innovation?’ (2020, Palgrave) and ‘Experiment Earth: Responsible innovation in geoengineering’ (2015, Routledge). He previously worked in science and technology policy at the Royal Society and the think tank Demos. He is a fellow of the Turing Institute.

Dr Rachel Sieder, senior research professor at the Centro de Investigaciones y Educación Superior en Antropología Social (CIESAS) in Mexico City, research fellow at the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London and Associated Research Professor at Chr. Michelsen Institute, is a political scientist whose research interests are located within an inter-disciplinary field which straddles politics, legal anthropology, and legal sociology. Her research interests cover indigenous rights, human rights, judicial reform, access to justice, legal pluralism and counter-hegemonic forms of globalization. Her geographic area of specialization is Guatemala and Central America.

Professor Esperanza Diaz, Director of the Pandemic Centre at UiB, is a medical doctor educated in Spain in 1995 and a general practice specialist in Norway since 2003. In addition to her position as director of the Pandemic Centre since 2020 and professor at the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Bergen, she works as senior researcher (20%) at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Diaz has conducted research on immigrant health since 2008, written over a hundred peer-reviewed articles about the topic and published the book Migrant Health: A Primary Care Perspective.

Associate Professor Kjetil Rommetveit at SVT, UiB has since 2008 been engaged in research on the governance of technoscience and large-scale ICT systems, in the European Union and nationally in Norway.  He has been the main instigator and principal researcher of two FP7 projects (TECHNOLIFE, EPINET) and one Horizon 2020 project (CANDID), dealing with technologies such as biometrics, human enhancements, Geographical Imaging Systems, and autonomous robotics, and from 2021, he is leading the RCN-funded project CoPol: Covid-19 tracing as Digital Politics.

Professor Thorvald Sirnes, SVT and the Faculty of Social Sciences, has been working consistently for decades with the underlying theoretical and philosophical presuppositions of social sciences, and the limitations related to these. He lectures all new PhD students within the social sciences in Bergen, in addition to having published articles and completed NRC projects on this topic. He has also elaborated and published about the importance of the meaning dimension in politics.