Introducing: Nora S. Vaage

I am Nora S. Vaage, and I joined the Philosophy department this week as an assistant professor in philosophy of art and culture. My background is in aesthetics, art history and theory of science, and for the last few years I have identified myself as an interdisciplinary researcher, working at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities at the University of Bergen, Norway. As such, FASoS’ interdisciplinary profile suits me perfectly.

My PhD dissertation, Amplifying Ambiguities: Art on the Fringes of Biotechnology, focused on the ethical, epistemological and societal aspects of artists’, hackers’ and other laypersons’ engagement with wet biotechnologies, and was defended this spring. Recently I have become interested in climate visualisations and cultural heritage, and I am part of two networking projects on these issues. For the last half year I also worked as a coordinator of the RRI (responsible research and innovation) component at the Centre for Digital Life Norway, NTNU. This Centre is a flagship project from the Norwegian Research Council aiming to bring different sectors of biotechnology together, with a mandatory RRI component.

I have occasionally worked as an art critic and curator, and recently co-curated the 2016 Article Biennial, entitled New Eden, in Stavanger, Norway. This exhibition brought together a lot of my interests when it comes to how art can engage with, communicate with and critique developments in biotechnology and our views on knowledge. I have lectured and taught in a number of subjects including art theory, visual rhetoric, theory of science and ethics – so the broad, interdisciplinary organisation of the teaching here at FASoS is ideal! In my spare time I enjoy reading, cooking (I’m a bit of a foodie), and hiking – so am glad to have landed in the only part of the Netherlands where some hills are to be found. I look forward to getting to know all of you and working together here in Maastricht.

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