2015 has been a unique year in the history of the Arne Næss Chair for five reasons. 1) The Chair was held by David Sloan Wilson, a world-known evolutionary biologist who has done pioneering research on cooperation and altruism as conditions for a sustainable and just society; 2) Prof. David Sloan Wilson is not just a brilliant scholar but also a socially engaged intellectual. Thus, while in Norway, apart from lectures at the University of Oslo, Bergen Stockholm, and the Oslo Business School, Wilson has also engaged with Norwegian think tanks (especially Agenda and Manifest), and met Norwegian politicians and business leaders (see attachments). 3) David Sloan Wilson is the first Arne Næss Professor who has initiated a novel project which is based on a dialogue between the University of Oslo and the Evolutionary Institute (the so called ?Norway Project?: see https://evolution-institute.org/project/quality-of-life/the-norway-project/). This initiative has recently been granted further finance from the University of Oslo?s new ?Unpacking the Nordic Model? program. 4) Wilson is also the first Arne Næss professor who has proposed and co-chaired an intensive, advanced PhD program on ?radical disciplinarity? (see attachment; https://www.hf.uio.no/csmn/english/research/news-and-events/events/conferences/2015/PhD-course:--cultural-economic-and-evolutionary-pe.html). The course has been a collaboration between the Center for Development and the Environment and the Center for the Study of Mind in Nature at UiO, and took place between 28 September ? 2 October. 5) David S. Wilson?s latest book, Does Altruism Exist? was translated into Norwegian by Cappelen Akademisk during his chair-period in Oslo and launched at the Arne Næss Symposium 2 October. (see D.S. Wislon, Finnes det altruisme? Etterord Nina Witoszek, Oslo: Cappelen Akademisk, 2015).
The annual Arne Næss Symposium took place in the Gamle Festsallen on 2 October and, apart from David Sloan Wilson, it featured two outstanding American scholars: Peter Turchin (University of Conneticut, the author of War and Peace and War) and Robert Frank (Cornell University, the author of Darwin Economics). The Symposium ? which gathered full house -had as its theme ?Cultural Evolution and the Wealth of the Nations? and turned into a TV programme (see NRK2 Kunnskapskanalen 14 November 2015).
Dissemination: Discussion of prof. Wilson?s work and his ?Norway Project? has figured in the following publications and TV programs:
1) The launching of the Norwegian translation of Wilson?s latest book Does Altruism Exist (Chicago University Press 2015). See Finnes Altruisme: kultur, gener og andres velferd, med etterord av Nina Witoszek.
2) David Sloan Wilson and Dag Hessen, Blueprint for the Global Village, Social Evolution Forum, https://evolution-institute.org/focus-article/blueprint-for-the-global-village/
3) Nina Witoszek, ?The Beauty of Getting to Norway?, Social Evolution Forum https://evolution-institute.org/commentary/the-beauty-of-getting-to-norway-comments-on-david-sloan-wilson-and-dags-hessens-essay-blueprint-for-the-global-village/
4) Nina Witoszek, ?Den eneste mulige realpolitik?, Morgenbladet 28 september 2015
5) Intervju med Klassekampen, (?Det er størrelsen som teller?) 24 september 2015.
6) Intervju med Uniforum, (?Nestekjærleik er meir menneskeleg enn egoisme»), 21 september 2015.
7) NRK2 Kunnskapskanalen 14 November 2015, «Kulturell innovasjon og nasjonenes velstand» See: https://tv.nrk.no/serie/kunnskapskanalen/MDDP17002815/14-11-2015
For full overview of DS Wilson?s various engagements and press comments see a separate list (enclosed).
Arne Næss Chair in Global Justice and the Environment is designed to critically continue and develop the intellectual legacy of Arne Næss. The Chair is awarded to international scholars who promote cutting edge insights into research on development and th e environment and who explore burning issues related to the environmental crisis, social and environmental responsibility, social justice, climate challenge, as well as environmental philosophy and ethics. Arne Næss Professors are invited to spend 3 month s in Oslo and work on their project in a dialogue with Norwegian researchers. The high point of the Arne Næss Chair is the annual Arne Næss Symposium - featuring Arne Næss lecture and the session with the young international researchers, who present the ir vision of a better, more sustainable world.
The Symposium is usually filmed and put on the web. To ensure the wide dissemination of the debate, the Symposium is also transmitted by NRK2 (kunnskapskanalen). The 2014 is a special year in a fourfold sens e. Firstly, its theme is "Re-imagining Education for a Sustainable Future" -a topic which needs a new, creative brainstorming. Secondly, it will feature one of the most inspiring American scholars in the field of environmental ethics and education, David Abram. Thirdly, the highlight of the Symposium will be the keynote address by Dalai Lama; and fourthly, the Symposium will collaborate with the Barnekunstmuseum in Oslo and co-organize an exhibition of children?s ?Visions of a Better World.? The 2015 Arn e Næss Chair and Symposium on the other hand will feature one of the best Indian women researchers on development and the environment, Sunita Narain - the Director of the Center for Science and Environment in New Delhi.