The Nils Klim Symposium: "Reflect and Act: Energy Social Science and Impact!"

Under dire circumstances worldwide, how can the insights that energy social scientists hold enable equitable transitions to low-carbon energy futures?

Reflection is a form of action at frontiers of understanding. Energy social scientists have reflected upon the deadlocks and breakthroughs that relate to low-carbon energy futures. During rapid global innovation and power tussles over energy systems, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research is thriving. Yet how does academic reflection translate into action to enable equitable transitions? The Nils Klim Symposium examines the roles scholars play in governing energy transitions. 

The lecture by 2024 Nils Klim Laureate Siddharth Sareen is followed by presentations by invited guests, a panel discussion and a Q&A session. 

Registration for the 2024 Holberg Week



by Professor Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, Academic Director of the Holberg Prize.

Introduction of the Nils Klim Laureate

by Professor Kjetil Rommetveit

The Nils Klim Lecture: "Reflect and Act: Energy Social Science and Impact!"

by Nils Klim Laureate Siddharth Sareen

Shaping a Sustainable and Just Future for All

Humanity faces several interlocked crises which require new knowledge and new ways of cooperation among a diverse range of actors. In this lecture I will briefly reflect on the challenges and opportunities that scholars face in trying to contribute to build a sustainable and just global future for humanity and for all living beings in our planet.

by Professor Mariel Aguilar-Støen

Governance Capacities for Urban Low-Carbon Futures

Fighting the climate crisis will require fundamental transformations of the way we work, consume, produce or are mobile. Cities are expected to take a leading role in driving systemic changes in sectors such as energy or mobility. Critical social science can play an important role in supporting the development of new governance capacities required to enact long-term, goal-oriented and reflexive policies which are also aware of the socio-political dimensions of this transformation.

by Professor Harald Rohracher

Transform Energy? – Transform Society!

Few challenges are more crucial than shifting the contemporary world away from catastrophically climate-disrupting energy practices. To realise such formidable socially-deliberate aims arguably requires unprecedented concentrated agency, specificity of purpose, expert precision, and rapidly-achievable targets. This talk will explore how to reconcile associated tricky and messily-contending imperatives around energy sustainability and social equality.

by Professor Andy Stirling


by Nils Klim Laureate Siddharth Sareen

Panel discussion and Q&A

moderated by Professor Kjetil Rommetveit

Closing remarks

by Professor Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, Academic Director of the Holberg Prize.



Siddharth Sareen
Photo: Trygve Tollefsen, AYF

Siddharth Sareen

Siddharth Sareen is the 2024 Nils Klim Laureate. He is Professor of Energy and Environment at the Department of Media and Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, Norway. Sareen is also professor II at the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation, University of Bergen.




Mariel Aguilar-Støen
Photo: University of Oslo

Mariel Aguilar-Støen

Mariel Aguilar-Støen is Professor of Human Geography at the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM) at the University of Oslo, where she leads the research group “Rural Futures”. Her research has focused on agrarian change in various parts of the world, including countries in Latin America.




Harald Rohracher
Photo: Linköping University

Harald Rohracher

Harald Rohracher is an interdisciplinary social scientist and Professor of Technology and Social Change at Linköping University, Sweden. He has published widely in the field of energy transitions, transformative innovation policy, governance of socio-technical change, and urban climate transition.




Andy Stirling
Photo: Private

Andy Stirling

Andy Stirling is Professor of Science and Technology Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, where he co-directed the 'STEPS Centre' for sixteen years. Working on issues of power, uncertainty and diversity in science and technology, he has served on a number of UK, EU and wider governmental advisory committees including (presently) as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).



Kjetil Rommetveit
Photo: University of Bergen

Kjetil Rommetveit (moderator)

Kjetil Rommetveit is Professor of Science, Technology and Society at the University of Bergen (Center for the Study of the Sciences and Humanities). His research is on governance of science and technology, with a special focus on large digital infrastructures in fields such as health, energy and security. He has led and instigated several national and international research projects, and is coordinator of the master's program in sustainability at the University of Bergen.



Portrait of Bjørn Enge Bertelsen
Photo: Eivind Senneset

Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

Bjørn Enge Bertelsen is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Bergen, and Academic Director of the Holberg Prize.


to 15:00, CEST.
The University Aula in Bergen
Practical information
Free admission.
Registration required.
The event will be streamed.