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Upcoming! Final Seminar on Planetary Timekeeping

Erik Isberg, doctoral student at the division, will discuss the progress of his dissertation at his final seminar on 13 March 13.15-15:00 (Stockholm time). The title of his seminar is “Planetary Timekeeping: Paleoclimatology and the Temporalities of Environmental Knowledge. 1950-1990”. Dania Acherman, Senior Scientist from the University of Bern, will act as discussant during the seminar. The event will be held in the seminar room at the division (Teknikringen 74D, level 5).

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About Erik

I am a PhD Student at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment since December 2018. I hold a M.A in the History of Ideas and Sciences from Lund University and I was a visiting student at the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society at UC Berkeley 2016-2017.

As a part of the research project SPHERE, my current work concerns the scientific construction of a global environment and, particularly, how planetary timescales were increasingly incorporated into human history and global environmental governance between 1950-1980. As human impact on the environment began to be understood in planetary terms, practices aimed at tracking environmental changes over vast periods of time, such as ice core drilling and pollen analysis, were drawn into the political spotlight. They spoke to more than just the deep past, as they gradually became immersed in the work to predict, visualize and alter the trajectories of the living conditions on the planet. Over the course of a few decades, long planetary timescales had moved into the realm of the governable. I am interested in this process and the way environmental and societal temporalities have been synchronized, mediated and negotiated as a part of a larger shift in the human-earth relationship. More broadly, my research interests concern the history of science and technology, environmental humanities and historiography.

Working as a doctoral student in the Nuclearwaters-Project (ERC Consolidator Grant, PI Per Högselius), I focus on the nuclear history of Eastern Europe, especially on the territory of the former Soviet Union and its successor states. Furthermore, I investigate expert cultures in nuclear discourses, with a special interest in water-related issues in nuclear power plant decision-making. In addition, I am intrigued by the entanglement of the commercial, scientific and political interests concerning nuclear technologies, with its sometimes harsh consequences on human societies and the environment. Recently this interest has extended to energy systems as a whole in Eastern Europe, including fossil fuels and renewables. Questions of transition within international energy systems in the face of the climate crisis and recent political developments become more important, as my work progresses.