Stories from Sweden’s far northern edge

Public lecture

Tuesday 29 May 2012

5.30-6.30pm, followed by a reception hosted by the Swedish Embassy hosted by the Ambassador for Sweden, His Excellency Sven-Olof Petersson.

Place: Coombs Extension Room 1.04, Australian National University

RSVP for catering purposes:


Today there is general agreement that global change is ongoing, rapid and that it affects us all. The scientific knowledge underpinning this change is surprisingly recent. In this talk I locate global environmental change in the wider context of planetary narratives, past and future. In particular I will focus on narratives about histories and futures connected with the far northern edges of the world, the Arctic and the North Atlantic: Indigenous populations, geostrategic security, the Cold War, expectations of ice-free sea routes, Arctic cities, and downright disaster. Sweden, an alliance free state without a coastline to the Arctic, has been an observer in geopolitical terms, but its geographical position and strong research capabilities have made it an important contributing party in these discussions.


Sverker Sörlin profileSverker Sörlin is professor of Environmental History in the Division of History of Science, Technology, and Environment at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. He is also affiliated with the Stockholm Resilience Centre. He is the author of several books of essays and nonfiction, including one on Darwin’s life as a father and family man (2009) and one on the philosophy of cross country skiing (2011). He frequently appears in the media as a critic and commentator, and has been a long standing member of the Swedish Government’s Science Advisory Board.



Swedish Embassy, National Museum of Australia, Australian National University, Centre for Environmental History.