Contested Natures – new strategies, ideas and dialogues?

Trondheim, Norway, 9-11th of June, 2015

Thank you all who participated at NESS2015. We hope you are as satisfied with the conference as we are. We are looking forward to seeing you in Tampere, Finland in June 2017.

– NESS2015, Organizing committee

NESS2015 – Contested Natures: New strategies, ideas and dialogues

Despite an increasingly vast production of knowledge about nature, there is still no agreement about the strategies needed to build “sustainable”, “green” or “environmentally friendly” societies. Even Nature is not a shared concept, and what is valued and worth protecting remains controversial.

Climate change, commodification of natural resources, land deprivation, biodiversity loss, pollution and other issues pertaining to nature and natural resources are making themself felt in the very heart of society yet in highly contested ways. The dominant stream of natural science research is geared towards investigating the “nature of nature”, and tends to overlook the plurality of natures produced in the intersection with society. The social sciences and the humanities should not only continue to take on the challenges of investigating how nature has become a contested concept but also enter into dialogue with the natural sciences to explore the implications of ongoing ontological politics as well as the effects of nature being a contested concept. In turn, this suggests new intellectual landscapes of transdiciplinary research where the social sciences, the humanities and the natural sciences have to (re)convene to establish a basis from which nature-society may be reformed – in theory as well as in practice – to deal with the demanding challenges of the Anthropocene.

The purpose of this conference is to engage with such challenges to provoke ideas on new ways for social theory to explore and engage in nature-society relations. We welcome researchers from all social science, humanities and other relevant fields to present their latest research related to aspects and interactions of social, cultural and environmental changes.

NESS 2015 were arranged in Trondheim, Norway 9-11th of June, in collaboration between Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Centre for Rural Research.



Trondheim, Norway. NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology.


9 June – 11 June, 2015


The conference will be arranged in parallel working groups, where each participant is expected to present a paper as well as follow the selected group throughout the whole conference.

Supported by

The Resarch Counsil of Norway logo
Trondheim Muncipality logo
CenSES logo
ZEB - The research centre on zero emission buildings


Centre for Rural Research (CRR) is an independent research foundation located at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. CRR carries out social science research within rural studies, including studies of agriculture and food systems and natural resource management. The centre carries out research for the national research council, as well as public and private sectors.


The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture at NTNU is a leading centre in science and technology studies in Norway. The department hosts a strong research group engaged in social studies of sustainable energy and energy policy. The department is included in the Centre for Sustainable Energy Studies (CenSES) which is an interdisciplinary research centre that integrates insight from a range of disciplines with the main goal of increasing the decision basis for the energy strategy of the future.


The Department of Geography covers research on a broad range of fields across human and physical geography, with further links to other disciplines. Researchers at the departments explore the interface between nature and society, including research on use, management and protection of a range of renewable natural resources, and focus on how resources are conceptualized within different contexts and how these different conceptualizations often create competing and conflicting discourses and practices.


The Department of Sociology and Political Science has carried out research on energy and environment-related topics for a number of years. The department hosts a research cluster that ranges from energy security to energy policy to environmental policy and to fisheries and resource management.