[Why Science in Balance?]

On August 1, 2015, I became the Rector (President) of the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus). Enjoy the English or Norwegian version of the video announcing this news below. 

In addition to my work as Rector, I have two other roles that are closely related to the content on this website. I lead Norway’s Committee on Gender Balance and Diversity in Research, and I am the head of the Board for Current Research Information System in Norway (CRIStin). In all of these roles, I work to pursue my conviction that research and education are essential to improving society and that making universities better therefore has the potential to make societies better.

Read here about the ideas behind the Science in Balance tagline.

I’m currently writing a book on gender balance. Why do men and women have different career paths? Why should we care? How can we start to make things better? Why is improving gender balance not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do? For a taste of my approach, grab a copy of my free ebook on gender equality.

Beyond this book project, I use my speaking and writing engagements to reach audiences on the topics that excite me the most: gender balanceopen access, leadership issues and more. These interests have grown during the past decade while I’ve had the privilege to occupy what were then two brand new leadership positions at the University of Tromsø.

From 2009–2013, I served as the elected Vice Rector for Research & Development (prorektor for forskning og utvikling). Before that, from 2002–2008, I was the founding director of my university’s first Norwegian Center of Excellence, the Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Linguistics (CASTL). Given the luxury of being able to define those positions, I was able to pursue my passion for improving academic life by working to enhance conditions for education and research. After my period as Vice Rector, I was elected by the faculty in Tromsø to represent them on the university board, which I did from 2013–2015, until moving to my current position.

I’m part of the European Science Foundation’s genderSTE COST action (Gender, Science, Technology and Environment); I helped create the BALANSE program at the Research Council of Norway, which is designed to increase the numbers of women at the highest levels of research organizations. I am on the Advisory Board of the European Commission project EGERA (Effective Gender Equality in Research and Academia); I was on the Science Leaders Panel of the genSET project, in which we advised the European Commission about gender in science; I am a member of the Steering Committee for the Gender Summits.

I also led a national task force on research-based education that issued many suggestions for Norwegian institutions.

To reach me, use the contact form.

I created the crowd-sourced alternative contest to the European Commission’s Science: It’s a girl thing! teaser video (and was co-sponsored in doing so by the European Science Foundation and Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt); see the results here!

These pictures can be freely used in non-commercial contexts; please credit the photographer.

Photo credit: Tom Benjaminsen