Jan Reinert Karlsen's picture

Jan Reinert Karlsen

Associate Professor, academic coordinator for Major Issues in Research and Society and leader of Research Group Theory of Science
  • E-mailJan.Karlsen@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 96 65
  • Visitor Address
    Allégaten 34
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7805
    5020 BERGEN

I am currently working on epistemological and ethical foundational issues (theory of science) in research on human beings, focusing on norms, values, and conceptual formations in the life sciences and the humanities, areas where research-based knowledge and techniques are utilised, and the governance of new and emerging technologies 

Currently these research interests has brought me into contact with a range of questions in releation to

  • how suffering is conceptualised in medicine and psychology
  • norms of objectivity in cognitive neuroscience and how they materialise in fMRI-based study designs and images of cognitive function
  • how the human genome is conceptualised and normed in policies and goveranance of research biobanking and digital research infrastructures
  • how quality and relevance are conceptualised within humanities research and indicator-based methodologies
  • representations of scientific knowledge in the science-policy-society interface

I am also engaged in research-based approaches on how to improve teaching and learning in interdisciplinary subjects


Major Issues in Research and Society ("Bildung or scientific literacy seminars")

  • The human being: Nature and culture (VIT210)
  • Global health: Ethics, politics, and human rights (VIT211)
  • Climate: What do we know? What should we do? (VIT212)
  • The many cultures at the university (VIT213)
  • The Norwegian Constitution: What is it? How ought it to be? (VIT214)
  • Displacing humanity: Knowledge status and options for action (VIT215)

PhD obligatory course in Research Design, Methods, Ethics and Philosophy of Science (PS901)


  • Karlsen, Jan Reinert. 2019. Thoughts in Progress: Field Notes from Norway. 103-105. In:
    • Minnich, Elizabeth; Patton, Michael Quinn. 2019. Thought Work. Thinking, Action, and the Fate of the World. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Karlsen, Jan Reinert; Gray Jr, Robert Morris. 2018. Using formative assessment to change thinking and broaden perspectives in an interdisciplinary course.
  • Karlsen, Jan Reinert. 2018. The human deposit – the problem of conceptualising the human genome in the making of Norwegian biobank regulations with some implications for research ethics.
  • Kverndokk, Kyrre; Karlsen, Jan Reinert. 2018. Boksamtale: Kollaps.
  • Karlsen, Jan Reinert. 2017. The human deposit – the problem of conceptualising the human genome in the making of Norwegian biobank regulations.
  • Müftüoglu, Ingrid Birce; Karlsen, Jan Reinert; Slaattelid, Rasmus Tore. 2017. Svar til Skodvin. Morgenbladet.
  • Karlsen, Jan Reinert; Müftüoglu, Ingrid Birce; Slaattelid, Rasmus Tore. 2017. Studiebarometeret som kunnskapsform og samfunnsfenomen. Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift. 7-19.
  • Karlsen, Jan Reinert; Müftüoglu, Ingrid Birce; Slaattelid, Rasmus Tore. 2017. Studentenes stemme? Morgenbladet.
  • Karlsen, Jan Reinert; Osnes, Berge. 2017. Hjernen gjør motstand. Le Monde Diplomatique.
  • Karlsen, Jan Reinert. 2017. Demarkasjonsproblemet og alternative fakta.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

Epistemology Laboratory (EpiLab) is a newly founded inter-disciplinary research group that will conduct and develop research projects for testing normative and pre-empirical assumptions and implications in research designs on complex phenomena (e.g. suffering, neurodegenerative diseases, consciousness, mental disorders).

More information will follow.