Issue 17 – Interdisciplinarity in the age of uncertainty

Front page illustration designed by Shane David Colvin

This edition of Teknovatøren celebrates 20 years of interdisciplinarity at the home of Teknovatøren, the TIK centre for technology, innovation and culture.

Interdisciplinarity. TIK gathers students and researchers from a wide variety of backgrounds. A student group with the range of backgrounds such as from TIK creates an academic environment that combine the very best of everyone’s knowledge to tackle the issues in society. The conjunction of innovation studies and science and technology studies makes the students able to analyse trends in society from the very birth of technologies to how it may affect both society and individuals. Pair this with close working relationships between students and researchers, and you get a group of graduates ready to shape and develop society. This edition showcases exactly this, for instance with Cyriac George and Elisabeth Svenneviks piece on the future of transportation and Katie Coughlins analysis on how social media changes how children play.

Uncertainty. The age we live in is one which in many ways can be described as uncertain. Technology is moving at an unprecedented pace, requiring a population with technological and digital competencies. Deepfakes, as Tormod Dag Fikse writes about, is no immediate threat, but is a technology that challenges and changes how we perceive and consume content. Transitions is at the heart of what TIK cares about. An important part of this are transitions necessary in facing a future of global warming and extreme weather. As several of the articles in this edition tells, Norway’s policy on industry and climate is on a collision course with the reality of the climate changes. Climate change means we face uncertain times. Researchers and students at TIK contribute what they can to shed light on an uncertain future.

Hopefully, this edition of Teknovatøren gives you some hope in that the future can be prosperous despite its uncertainties. Common for many of the challenges society face is that they cannot be solved within one field of research or politics. Thus, forces must be combined, and this edition of Teknovatøren shows that the way it has been done at TIK for the past 20 years is a part of the solution.

Johannes Sommerset Bjartnes
Executive editor