Thomas Völker


Postdoctoral Fellow, SEAS programme


Research groups


Thomas Völker is a MSCA SEAS postdoctoral research fellow in Science and Technology Studies (STS). His research focuses on environmental governance and on attempts of transitioning towards more sustainable aquacultures. More specifically, Völker is interested in the development of novel feeds as a case of implementing circular economy policies and introducing principles of responsible research and innovation (RRI) in Norway.

From 2020-2022, Völker was one of University of Bergen's representatives in the secretariat for the UNESCO Global Independent Expert Group on Universities and the 2030 Agenda (EGU2030).

Initially trained as a sociologist, in his PhD thesis Völker studied “futuring” practices in transdisciplinary sustainability research from a Science and Technology Studies (STS) perspective. After finishing his PhD at the University of Vienna, he joined the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), where he further developed his research interests towards questions about participatory decision-making at the multiple interfaces between science, policy and society. Völker has been working both in academia and policy with his research focusing on practices of knowledge production and circulation in environmental governance as well as on collective experiments with participatory democracy in policy making.


Talk: "Feeding fish to save the world?" STS Talk, Universität Wien, 17 January 2024

Talk: "Towards sustainable and recuperative aquaculture: How are ocean health, politics and society connected?" at the event Vår forunderlige klode - unge forskere forteller, Centre for Digital Life Norway and University of Bergen, 6 September 2023

Presentation of the UNESCO report Knowledge-driven actions: transforming higher education for global sustainability: Kunnskapsdrevet handling – hva kan vi bidra med for å klare bærekraftmålene? 13.12.2022

-> This presentation was also made into a podcast that can be accessed here: Knowledge-driven actions - An interview with Thomas Völker (language: English)


Teaching during postdoctoral fellowship

Talk on RRI in environmental governance at the AFINO Autumn School in September 2023, Jondal.

Previously, Thomas Völker has been teaching at university level and for European Commission institutions.

At the University of Vienna he developed and held the following courses:

  • Kulturen der Wissenserzeugung: Von der Wertegemeinschaft zum Marktplatz der Ideen?
  • Tempor(e)alitäten: Zur Rolle von Zukunft und Zeitlichkeiten in kontemporären Wissensgesellschaften
  • Dangerous Liaisons? Tracing Society in Contemporary Knowledge Production
  • 'Who cares what the future brings?' Understanding technoscientific futures

At the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) he developed and held a course on citizen engagement together with Ângela Guimarães Pereira:

  • DG JRC Training on Citizen Engagement in Policyrelevant Science, Technology and Innovation


Academic article
Programme management
Academic chapter/article/Conference paper
Academic monograph
Academic anthology/Conference proceedings

See a complete overview of publications in Cristin.

See an overview of Thomas Völker's publications at his ORCID profile.


2020-2022 Territories as Responsive and Accountable Networks of S3 through new Forms of Open and Responsible decision-Making (TRANSFORM), Horizon 2020 - SwafS-2019

2020-21 UNESCO Global Independent Expert Group on the Universities and the 2030 Agenda

2016-20 Moving Towards Adaptive Governance in Complexity: Informing Nexus Security (MAGIC) , H2020-WATER